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.
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.
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