A prospective study of asymptomatic bacteriuria in young sexually active women

T. M. Hooton, D. Scholes, A. E. Stapleton, C. Winter, P. L. Roberts, K. Gupta, W. E. Stamm

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1 Scopus citations


Asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) in young nonpregnant women is considered a benign condition, but little is known about its pathogenesis, risk factors and association with symptomatic urinary tract infection (UTI). We evaluated women for ASB as part of a larger prospective study of UTI among 348 university women (U) and 448 women in a health maintenance organization (H), age 18-40, who were followed for 6 months. Subjects were asked to submit urine cultures monthly and to keep a daily diary in which information about exposures of interest were recorded. ASB was defined as ≥105 cfu of a uropathogen/ml of midstream urine in the absence of UTI symptoms. Overall, there were 146 person-years of follow-up in the U cohort and 177 person-years in the H cohort. We observed 132 episodes of ASB among 75 women (range per woman, 0 to 7) in the U cohort for a point prevalence of 4.6% (95% CI: 3.5%. 6.1%) and 139 episodes among 89 women (range per woman, 0 to 6) in the H cohort for a similar point prevalence of 5.5% (95% CI: 4.3%, 7.0%). Risk factors for ASB were the same as those for UTI although the associations were weaker: diaphragm-spermicide use (OR 1.6 al U, P<.0001; and 1.5 at H, P=.0001); recent sexual intercourse (OR 1.3 at U, P=.0002); cervical cap use (OR 1.4 at U; P=.002); a history of recurrent UTI (OR 2.2 at H; P=.01); and any use of spermicide alone (OR 2.5 at H; P=.007). Among women with ASB at U and H. 8% had a UTI within a week vs. 1% of those without ASB (U: OR=8.0[4.1, 15.5]; p<.0001 and H: OR=15.5 [6.6, 36.0]; p<.0001). We conclude that ASB is relatively common in young sexually active women, is associated with factors also predisposing to symptomatic UTI and is associated with subsequent occurrence of symptomatic UTI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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