Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Epidemiology of symptomatic infections of the urinary tract in children.

British Medical Journal 1988; 297 doi: (Published 13 August 1988) Cite this as: British Medical Journal 1988;297:450
  1. M. Uhari,
  2. M. Nuutinen
  1. Department of Paediatrics, University of Oulu, Finland.


    The epidemiology of symptomatic infections of the urinary tract in children and the factors that may alter the risk of infection are not well known. Numbers of children aged under 15 discharged from hospitals because of symptomatic infections of the urinary tract during 1978-84 were obtained from the database kept by the Finnish National Board of Health. Information on continuous treatment for recurrent urinary tract infections was obtained from records kept by the Social Insurance Institution on patients receiving free medicines. The yearly rate of attacks of symptomatic infections/1000 girls decreased significantly from 2.67 (95% confidence interval 2.52 to 2.82) in 1978 to 1.88 (1.76 to 2.01) in 1984. In boys the rate also decreased significantly, from 0.85 (0.77 to 0.93) in 1978 to 0.59 (0.52 to 0.66) in 1984. The period prevalence of free treatment/1000 girls decreased significantly from 7.80 (7.55 to 8.05) in 1978 to 5.30 (5.10 to 5.51) in 1984 but did not change significantly in boys. Although the findings may partly have been caused by changes in policies of admission to hospital, they suggest a decreasing trend in symptomatic urinary tract infections in childhood, which may be associated with changes in the care of infants.