Disease burden of recurrent urinary tract infections on healthcare systems and patients

Burden on patients

1 in 2 women icon

1 in 2 women of all ages will experience at least one episode of cystitis during their lifetime

1 in 3 will suffer from at least one recurrent cystitis icon

Of these women, almost 1 in 3 will suffer from at least one recurrent UTI

DB Grafik

In a patient web-based study (GESPRIT) performed in 5 countries by individuals affected by rUTIs:

  • Anonymous, self-administered web-based survey
  • Aim: to evaluate the social & economic burden of rUTIs as well as impact on QoL
  • 5 countries involved (Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Russia, Italy)
  • 1,941 adult women who had experienced rUTIs and were currently affected by acute UTI (1,275) or within 4 weeks of study entry (666)

The following topics were covered in the GESPRIT questionnaire:

  • Demographics
  • Disease and disease burden (self-reported disease history)
  • Knowledge – Use - Willingness (antibiotic use and prevention)
  • Socio-economic aspects
  • Quality of Life (SF-12v2) Burden of illness
  • Other personal information (marital status, employment, income)

Impact on daily activities


impact urinary infections intimate relations

…stated their intimate relations were negatively influenced by the disease


impact urinary infections sexual intercourse

…suffered UTIs very often or often after sexual intercourse


impact urinary infections limited daily life

…felt limited in their daily activities by more than 3 days per year

Premenopausal women…

impact urinary infections social handicap

…reported being socially handicapped

Burden on healthcare and society

Impact on mental well-being

impact urinary infections mental well being

The sudden, unforeseeable, and distressing nature of painful UTI episodes often causes patients anxiety.

  • The resulting social handicap is known to induce feelings of self-devaluation or culpability, which can lead to clinical symptoms of depression
  • Mental health scores are below average in up to 81% of women, in patients with an acute episode or who recently

    experienced a recurrence.

  • Up to 71% of women suffering from rUTIs exhibited some degree of depression at baseline

Main symptoms reported by women are:

main symptoms urinary infections
  • 93.7% Pain and/or burning during micturition
  • 82.4% Pollakiuria
  • 80.1% Dysuria
  • 29.8% Asthenia

Women with UTIs were willing to try any sort of prophylactic measure to limit antibiotic consumption.

Find out more about the burden of rUTIs.

Burden of UTIs

Burder urinary tract infections logo
  • In the US, UTIs are responsible for 7 million medical visits a year, including 2 million for cystitis alone, with a total estimated cost of $3.5 billion.
  • In Europe, patients with UTIs visit the doctor 3 times/year, costing an estimated €1.5 billion.
  • A mean of 3 days per year of sick leave are due to UTIs in Europe.

Burden of antimicrobials

Burden of antimicrobials logo
  • 80.3% of UTI patients had been treated at least once with antibiotics for UTIs.
  • In the US, 3 million UTI patients are treated with antibiotics.
  • Individuals who had to change antibiotic treatment due to lack of efficacy was high (up to 53.2%).

And what about recurrences?

Doctors tend to see cases of cystitis in isolation and don’t see the recurrences, however, for patients even one recurrence is too many. RECAP

Patient's perspective

Patient perspective cystitis picto
  • 100% of patients surveyed were willing to try any sort of prophylactic measure in place of antibiotics
  • For example, 54% were willing to take cranberry juice, and 52% were willing to try immunostimulants
  • At time of consultation, 74% of women had even already undertaken some kind of preventative measure

Doctors’ perspective

Doctors perspective cystitis picto
  • Every episode is seen as an acute one without treating recurrence. RECAP
  • Cystitis may not be a priority for all doctors. RECAP
  • Doctors do not advise starting prophylaxis until patients have experienced a mean 4-5 infections. RECAP

Don’t hesitate to advise your patients to take the online ACSS test

A call for action

  • rUTIs have a significant impact on health-related Quality of Life
  • They comprise a wide health and economic burden, this is why it is important not to underestimate the broad impact of rUTIs
  • Effective approaches to managing recurrent uncomplicated UTIs comprise of:
  • Risk factor evaluation (LUTIRE)
  • Patient counselling
  • Behavioural modification
  • Non-antimicrobial prophylaxis RECAP

In the HARMONY study, an effective prophylaxis reducing the number of rUTIs (cystitis) has been associated with increases in patient’s QoL in both mental (anxiety and depression scores) and physical health.


RECAP = Where a claim is followed by the RECAP, this means that this claim is endorsed by the RECAP board of experts.

OM Pharma Logo

The RECAP board is a panel of international experts in urological infections. The opinions presented within this educational material are those of the RECAP board and not those of OM Pharma. Members of the RECAP board include: Jose Tiran Saucedo (Mexico), Yvette León (Mexico), Gernot Bonkat (Switzerland), Kurt G. Naber (Germany), Florian ME. Wagenlehner (Germany), J C. Nickel (Canada), Flavia Rossi (Brazil), Enrique Ubertazzi (Argentina), Agnaldo L. da Silva Filho (Brazil), Tamara S. Perepanova (Russia), Jose Antonio Ortega Martell (Mexico) & Seung-Ju Lee (Korea), Bela Köves (Hungary) & Tommaso Cai (Italy).

Patient version : MED-HQ-UV-2100071 / HCP version : MED-HQ-UV-2100070
Date of preparation: December 2021