Urinary tract infections are a lot more common in the summertime, and they specifically occur in younger women, according to a new study.
For the study – which will be presented this month at ID Week 2015 – the researchers looked at data from 1998 to 2011 on people in the United States who were hospitalised for urinary tract infections.
Each year, there are at least seven million cases of for urinary tract infections in the United States, but only a few of them are extremely severe and require hospitalization.
During the 13-year period, the cases of urinary tract infections almost doubled nationwide from 136,000 in 1998 to about 244,000 in 2011, the researchers found. The urinary tract infection hospitalizations are two times higher among women, compared with men.
The researchers also observed a seasonal pattern in which the cases of urinary tract infections increased in the summer, and dropped every winter. Young women under the age of 44 were hospitalised the most due to urinary tract infections during the summer – when the UTI were at their highest point.
“We found — really surprisingly — for women, that seasonality was the highest in these youngest women, between 18 and 40. As age went up, seasonality diminished,” Jacob Simmering, a graduate teaching assistant at University of Iowa’s Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, said.
There are several factors that may influence the higher numbers of urinary tract infections among women in the summertime. For instance dehydration – which may increase the risk of UTI – occurs more often in the summer, especially in younger people, because they tend to spend a lot more time outside, Simmering explained.
Another risk factor for urinary tract infections among women could be sexual activity, which – researchers say – may increase during the summer in people of younger age.
The increased hospitalizations are linked to a higher number of bacteria (that cause the UTI) that are now resistant to antibiotics, the researchers found. Previously, urinary tract infection cases could be treated with antibiotics, but more recently – to treat UTI – people need other types of antibiotics that can only be administered through intravenous therapy (IV) at a hospital.
Image Source: static.guim