Urinary Tract Infections in the Older Adult

Clin Geriatr Med. 2016 Aug;32(3):523-38. doi: 10.1016/j.cger.2016.03.002. Epub 2016 Apr 18.


Urinary infection is the most common bacterial infection in elderly populations. The high prevalence of asymptomatic bacteriuria in both men and women is benign and should not be treated. A diagnosis of symptomatic infection for elderly residents of long-term care facilities without catheters requires localizing genitourinary findings. Symptomatic urinary infection is overdiagnosed in elderly bacteriuric persons with nonlocalizing clinical presentations, with substantial inappropriate antimicrobial use. Residents with chronic indwelling catheters experience increased morbidity from urinary tract infection. Antimicrobial therapy is selected based on clinical presentation, patient tolerance, and urine culture results.

Keywords: Asymptomatic bacteriuria; Cystitis; Elderly; Long-term care facility; Pyelonephritis; Urinary catheter; Urinary infection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects*
  • Catheters, Indwelling / microbiology
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / etiology