Clinical presentation of urinary tract infection (UTI) differs with aging in women

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2012 Jul-Aug;55(1):145-7. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2011.07.012. Epub 2011 Oct 1.


Uncomplicated UTI is among the most common health problems seen in general practice and typically affects immunocompetent, anatomically normal women. The aim of this study was to explore the difference in clinical presentation in acute, uncomplicated UTI in otherwise healthy community dwelling, premenopausal (Pre-M) and postmenopausal (Post-M) women. A UTI was defined as uropathogen of more than 10(3)cfu/ml in midstream urine culture. Symptoms of UTI were divided to three: during voiding, local symptoms, and generalized symptoms. A total of 196 women aged a minimum of 45 years with diagnosis of UTI were studied. The patients were divided into two groups: Pre-M (n=102, mean age 48.14 years) and Post-M (n=94, mean age 69.21 years). The predominant complaints in Pre-M women were local symptoms. The clinical presentations showed more severity in the Post-M group than in Pre-M women, predominantly generalized unspecific symptoms and storage symptoms. Advanced age positively correlated with urgency of urination, painful voiding, urinary incontinence, sexual activity, low-back pain, lower abdominal pain and negatively correlated with frequency, painful and burning of urination and bladder pain. Our study showed that clinical presentation of UTI in Pre-M and Post-M women is different. The differences are presented not only by the voiding itself and by local symptoms but also by unspecified generalized symptoms that is especially important in elderly patients.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / diagnosis
  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / diagnosis
  • Low Back Pain / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Urinary Incontinence / diagnosis
  • Urinary Incontinence / etiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / diagnosis*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / physiopathology*
  • Urine / microbiology