Urinary tract infections or UTIs are common infections worldwide, they are in fact the most common outpatient infection with at least half of all adult women having more than one UTI in their lifetime.
The disease course can range from relatively mild such as irritation of the bladder called cystitis to severe with infection migrating to the kidneys or pyelonephritis or even getting into the bloodstream causing bacteremia and possibly septic shock.
Despite advances in treatment and antibiotics, UTIs are still a significant cause of death with a mortality rate in the United States of 2.3% costing upwards of $450 million.
Research that is available through the NIH National Library of Medicine with the link below
presents a comprehensive picture of the 30-year burden of UTI’s globally. Investigated across 204 countries from 1990 to 2019 the researchers found that the absolute number of cases of UTIs increased by 60% from 252 million cases in 1990 to 405 million cases in 2019. What is also concerning is that the absolute number of deaths and the mortality rate from UTIs increased over this time. That is attributed in part to the rise of multi-drug resistant bacteria.
The researchers conclude that the global health burden from UTIs will continue to grow particularly in the elderly population.
Clearly antibiotics alone are not enough and that implementing innovative, cost-effective prevention strategies is critical.