Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Older Adults
Reference Urinary tract infections (UTIs) Opens New Window are common in older women and men. Factors that make older adults more likely to develop UTIs include:
- A reduced ability to control urination and bowel movements (incontinence), which increases the chance of getting bacteria into the urinary tract.
- A hospital stay or living in a long-term care center, where the person may have a urinary catheter inserted, making bladder infections more likely.
- Problems with the bladder dropping down out of its normal position (bladder prolapse or Reference cystocele Opens New Window). When this happens, the bladder cannot empty completely, making infections more likely.
- Lack of Reference estrogen Opens New Window in women who have gone through menopause. Lack of estrogen may allow bacteria that can cause UTIs to grow more easily in the Reference vagina Opens New Window or Reference urethra Opens New Window and cause an infection in the bladder.
- In men, partial blockage of the urinary tract by an Reference enlarged prostate Opens New Window.
- Other conditions, such as Reference diabetes Opens New Window, lack of activity, poor hygiene, or problems releasing urine.
- Use of medicines that can cause difficulty urinating or a complete inability to urinate. If you think your medicine may be causing urination problems, talk to your doctor.
Older adults also are more likely to have conditions that complicate UTIs, such as a lower resistance to infection. They may require more thorough evaluation and longer antibiotic treatment than do young adults who have uncomplicated infections.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 16, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology