Recurrent UTI exerts unfavourable effects on QOL in premenopausal women
Recurrent acute uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) negatively affects quality of life (QOL), including physical and mental health status, in premenopausal women, according to a study. QOL may even be lower in UTI-infected women with comorbid chronic constipation or who consume caffeine.
The 3-year study included 85 women (mean age 31.8 years; average UTI episodes, three per year) with recurrent acute uncomplicated UTI who were referred to the Urology Department at the National University Hospital, Singapore. All patients completed the validated Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) version 1. Demographic and clinical data, including symptomology and medical history, were analysed for factors affecting QOL, whereas survey scores were compared with published population norms.
It was found that recurrence of acute uncomplicated UTI was significantly associated with lower QOL on seven out of eight domains in the SF-36 version 1 questionnaire domains.
On further analysis, among women with recurrent acute uncomplicated UTI, those who also reported caffeine consumption had significantly lower SF-36 version 1 questionnaire scores compared with those who did not. Additionally, those also reported chronic constipation showed consistently lower QOL scores across all domains.
Researchers stressed that the significant reduction of QOL in otherwise healthy young women in the present study indicates that recurrent UTI is a problem that deserves to be addressed. Due to its acute duration and high recovery rate, recurrent UTI might be dismissed as a minor issue by clinicians, but the patient perspective shows that this recurrent infectious disease exerts an unfavourable effect on both physical and mental health status.
Additional studies are needed to understand the nature and extent of the relationships between recurrent UTI and caffeine consumption or chronic constipation, researchers added.