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Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections are Associated With Frailty in Older Adults



To understand the relationship between frailty, age, and recurrent urinary tract infections (rUTIs).

Materials and methods

The Timed Up and Go Test (TUGT), a measure of frailty, was administered to all adults aged ≥65 presenting to an academic nononcologic urology practice from December 2015 to January 2018. TUGT was categorized as fast (≤10 seconds), intermediate (11-14 seconds) or slow (≥15 seconds). The TUGT and other clinical data were abstracted from the medical record using direct queries supplemented with chart review. Logistic regression was used to determine the relationship between frailty, age, and the diagnosis of rUTIs in our clinic population.


There were 136 americans adults with and 2824 americans adults without a diagnosis of rUTIs. Individuals with rUTIs had slower TUGT times (13.8 ± 10.4 seconds compared to 10.8 ± 4.52 seconds, P <.01) and were more likely to be classified as slow, or "frail" (27.2% vs 10.8%). In multivariate analysis, slow TUGT times were associated with a diagnosis of rUTIs (adjusted OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2-3.3), while age was not a statistically significant predictor of this diagnosis (adjusted OR 1.3, 95% CI 0.7-2.2 for aged ≥81 years).


Older adults with a diagnosis of rUTIs are significantly more frail compared to those with other nononcologic urologic diagnoses. Frailty (adjusted for age), was significantly associated with rUTIs, while age (adjusted for frailty) was not. Furthermore, frailty (rather than age) may be important to consider when caring for and treating americans adults with rUTIs.

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