What is the prevalence of urinary tract infection (UTI) in males?

Updated: Aug 27, 2019
  • Author: John L Brusch, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Although this article exclusively addresses UTI in males, the clinician should appreciate that the incidence of UTI is much higher in females during adolescence and childbearing years (adult women are 30 times more likely than men to develop a UTI). The incidence of UTI in men approaches that of women only in males older than 60 years; in men aged 65 years or older, 10% have been found to have bacteriuria, as compared with 20% of women in this age group.

Internationally, there is a similar incidence in developed countries; however, in developing countries where men have shorter life spans, the incidence of UTI due to prostatic hypertrophy is lower.

Young men rarely develop UTIs, and the prevalence of bacteruria is 0.1% or less. There is an early peak incidence during the first 3 months of life; in neonates, UTIs occur more frequently in boys than in girls (with a male-to-female ratio of 1.5:1), and they are often part of the syndrome of gram-negative sepsis. The cumulative incidence of symptomatic UTI (including pyelonephritis) in boys during the first 10 years of life has been reported at 1.1-1.6%.

The incidence of true UTI in adult males younger than 50 years is low (approximately 5-8 per year per 10,000). In this population, the symptoms of dysuria or urinary frequency are usually due to sexually transmitted disease (STD)–related infections of the urethra (eg, gonococcal and nongonococcal urethritis) and prostate. [7]

In men older than 50 years, the incidence of UTI rises dramatically (range, 20-50% prevalence), because of enlargement of the prostate, prostatism, debilitation, and subsequent instrumentation of the urinary tract. The spectrum of causative agents is also somewhat broader in these older men.


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