Risk of recurrent acute lower urinary tract infections and prescription pattern of antibiotics in women with and without diabetes in primary care

Kees J. Gorter*, Eelko Hak, Nicolaas P. A. Zuithoff, Andy I. M. Hoepelman, Guy E. H. M. Rutten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Aim. To investigate diabetes characteristics associated with the risk of recurrent lower UTIs and the antibiotic prescription pattern.

Methods. In an exploratory retrospective study involving 7063 women aged >= 30 years, we studied the incidence of recurrent UTI (relapses and reinfection) in women with (n = 340) and without diabetes (n = 6618). Multivariable logistic regression and multilevel multinomial logistic analyses were used to determine the adjusted associations between diabetes characteristics and recurrent UTI [odds ratio (OR); 95% confidence interval (CI)] and the influence of diabetes on the pattern of antibiotic prescriptions for UTI, respectively.

Results. Relapses and reinfections were reported in 7.1% and 15.9% of women with diabetes versus 2.0% and 4.1% of women without diabetes. There was an independent higher risk of recurrent UTI in women with diabetes compared with women without diabetes (OR 2.0; 95% CI 1.4-2.9). Women taking oral blood glucose-lowering medication (OR 2.1; 95% CI 1.2-3.5) or insulin (OR 3.0; 95% CI 1.7-5.1) or who had had diabetes for >= 5 years (OR 2.9; 95% CI 1.9-4.4) or who had retinopathy (OR 4.1; 95% CI 1.9-9.1) were at risk of recurrent UTI. The pattern of antibiotic prescriptions for UTI was not influenced by diabetes.

Conclusions. Women with diabetes >= 5 years or with glucose-lowering medication or with retinopathy have an increased risk of recurrent UTI. Diabetes itself does not seem to influence the antibiotic prescription pattern. Research focusing on effective antibiotic treatment of UTI in women at risk of recurrence is needed and may help limit the development of antibiotic resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
JournalFamily practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2010


  • Antibiotics
  • diabetes
  • general practice
  • urinary tract infection

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