Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are infections of the bladder and urethra that disproportionally affect older adults because of their vulnerability to develop a weakened immune system. Mobility limitations that may prevent good hygiene, and medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney stones or kidney infections, may create challenges in emptying the bladder.
UTIs affect both sexes but are more common in women due to the shorter length of their urethras, which makes it easier for bacteria outside of the body to travel into the urinary system. More than 10 percent of women age 65 and older, and nearly 30 percent of women older than 85, reported that they had experienced a UTI in the past year. According to one survey, UTIs accounted for more than a third of infections reported in nursing homes.
If you or a loved one suddenly experiences UTI symptoms or is experiencing an increase in symptom frequency, consult a urology specialist immediately for a urinalysis—a lab test that can detect a UTI. Early treatment of a UTI is key in preventing the infection from spreading. If you experience recurring urinary tract infections, Mountain West University Specialty Clinic’s urologist will help diagnose and treat them.