Incidence of Pediatric UTI Decreased in Early Pandemic Period

UTI incidence decreased compared with prepandemic trends, but all measures of UTI severity decreased or remained stable
Incidence of Pediatric UTI Decreased in Early Pandemic Period
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 3, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of pediatric urinary tract infection (UTI) decreased during the early prepandemic period, with no increase in disease severity, according to a study published online Jan. 3 in JAMA Network Open.

Danni Liang, M.D., from the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, and colleagues examined the population incidence of UTI in children and examined the changes in UTI diagnoses and measures of UTI severity associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in a retrospective observational cohort study. The cohort included 13,221,117 enrollees aged 0 to 17 years (51.0 percent male).

The researchers found that the mean incidence of UTI diagnoses was 1.300 UTIs per 100 patient-years. The incidence of UTI was 0.86, 1.58, 1.24, and 1.37 per 100 patient-years at age 0 to 1 years, 2 to 5 years, 6 to 11 years, and 12 to 17 years, respectively; incidence was higher among girls than boys (2.48 versus 0.18 per 100 patient-years). UTIs decreased in the early pandemic compared with prepandemic trends (−33.1 percent for all children; −52.1 percent for infants aged 60 days or younger). All measures of UTI severity decreased or remained stable. After the first three months of the pandemic, the incidence of UTI returned to near prepandemic rates.

"Our findings may inform discussion around the overdiagnosis and/or misdiagnosis of UTI, optimal diagnostic strategies, and definitions for pediatric UTI," the authors write.

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