(HealthDay News) – Obese individuals are more likely to be diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI) or pyelonephritis compared with nonobese individuals, according to a study published in the February issue of Urology.

To investigate the association between obesity and UTI, Michelle J. Semins, MD, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues evaluated claims from a national private claims database from 2002–2006, for 95,598 patients. Patients with UTI or pyelonephritis were identified based on the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision coding.

The researchers found that UTI and pyelonephritis occurred in 13% and 0.84% of the cohort, respectively. Compared with men, women were 4.2-fold more likely to be diagnosed with a UTI, and 3.6-fold more likely to be diagnosed with pyelonephritis. Regardless of the degree of obesity, obese patients were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with a UTI or pyelonephritis than patients who were not obese.

“We found that obesity is a significant risk factor for being diagnosed with UTI as well as pyelonephritis. Within the obese population, approximately 20% of females and 8% of males were diagnosed with a UTI. As a group, the obese were up to 2.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with a UTI than were the nonobese,” the authors write.

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