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. 2015 Feb 3;112(3):594-600.
doi: 10.1038/bjc.2014.601. Epub 2014 Nov 27.

Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection and Risk of Bladder Cancer in the Nijmegen Bladder Cancer Study

Free PMC article

Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection and Risk of Bladder Cancer in the Nijmegen Bladder Cancer Study

S H Vermeulen et al. Br J Cancer. .
Free PMC article


Background: Controversy exists on whether urinary tract infection (UTI) is a risk factor for urinary bladder cancer (UBC). Here, the association is investigated using data from one of the largest bladder cancer case-control studies worldwide.

Methods: Information on (i) history and age at onset of regular cystitis ('regular low-UTI') and (ii) number and age at onset of UTI treated with antibiotics ('UTI-ab') from 1809 UBC patients and 4370 controls was analysed. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) adjusted for age, education, smoking, and use of aspirin/ibuprofen were generated, for men and women separately.

Results: Regular low-UTI was associated with an increased UBC risk (men: OR (95% CI) 6.6 (4.2-11); women: 2.7 (2.0-3.5)), with stronger effects in muscle-invasive UBC. Statistically significant decreased risks (ORs ∼0.65) were observed for up to five UTI-ab, specifically in those who (had) smoked and experienced UTI-ab at a younger age. In women, UTI experienced after menopause was associated with a higher UBC risk, irrespective of the number of episodes.

Conclusions: Regular cystitis is positively associated with UBC risk. In contrast, a limited number of episodes of UTI treated with antibiotics is associated with decreased UBC risk, but not in never-smokers and postmenopausal women.

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