Urology

October 2011

Clinical

Asymptomatic bacteriuria

Prevalence in the elderly population

Volume 40, No.10, October 2011 Pages 805-809

Yohanes Ariathianto

Aim

To identify the prevalence of asymptomatic bacteriuria in the elderly population and to examine associated risk factors, complications and natural history, and whether treatment improves prognosis.

Methods

A literature search of MEDLINE, PubMed and the Cochrane Library was undertaken of studies published from 1980 to 2009. A total of 70 articles were identified. Emphasis was given to randomised controlled trials, review articles and more recent publications.

Results

Asymptomatic bacteriuria is common in the elderly, especially among institutionalised or hospitalised patients. Risk factors include cognitive impairment, diabetes mellitus, structural urinary tract abnormalities and indwelling catheters. Antimicrobial therapy does not result in improved survival or genitourinary morbidity and may potentially cause avoidable side effects and the emergence of resistant organisms.

Conclusion

Bacteriuria is common in functionally impaired elderly patients. In the absence of symptoms or signs of infection, routine dipstick screening and subsequent antimicrobial therapy is not recommended.

Asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) is a common condition seen in primary care patients. This review aims to identify the prevalence of ASB in the elderly population and to examine its associated risk factors, complications and natural history, and whether treatment improves prognosis.

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Correspondence afp@racgp.org.au

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Type

Clinical