Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections are associated with Frailty in Older Adults

To understand the relationship between frailty, age and recurrent urinary tract infections (rUTIs).

The Timed Up and Go Test (TUGT), a measure of frailty, was administered to all adults ages ≥65 presenting to an academic non-oncologic urology practice from December 2015 to January 2018. TUGT was categorized as fast (≤10 seconds), intermediate (11-14 seconds) or slow (≥15 seconds). The TUGT and other clinical data were abstracted from the medical record using direct queries supplemented with chart review. Logistic regression was used to determine the relationship between frailty, age and the diagnosis of rUTIs in our clinic population.

There were 136 older adults with and 2824 older adults without a diagnosis of rUTIs. Individuals with rUTIs had slower TUGT times (13.8 ± 10.4 seconds compared to 10.8 ± 4.52 seconds, p<0.01) and were more likely to be classified as slow, or "frail" (27.2% versus 10.8%). In multivariate analysis, slow TUGT times were associated with a diagnosis of rUTIs (adjusted OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2-3.3), while age was not a statistically significant predictor of this diagnosis (adjusted OR 1.3, 95% CI 0.7-2.2 for ages ≥81 years).

Older adults with a diagnosis of rUTIs are significantly more frail compared to those with other non-oncologic urologic diagnoses. Frailty (adjusted for age), was significantly associated with rUTIs, while age (adjusted for frailty) was not. Furthermore, frailty (rather than age) may be important to consider when caring for and treating older adults with rUTIs.

Urology. 2018 Oct 05 [Epub ahead of print]

Meghan Tang, Kathryn Quanstrom, Chengshi Jin, Anne M Suskind

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Long School of Medicine., University of California, San Francisco Department of Urology., University of California, San Francisco Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics., University of California, San Francisco Department of Urology. Electronic address: .

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