16 Dec 2009 09:24

Urinary tract infections on the rise in young adults - survey

Shanghai. December 16. INTERFAX-CHINA - Urinary tract infections are rising among young adults in China, according to a survey released on Health News on Dec.15.

The survey revealed that young adults aged between 18 to 34 years old accounted for 32.4 percent of the total number of persons diagnosed with urinary tract infections. In the past, the elderly and middle-aged persons formed the predominant patient demographics for the infection.

Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract - where the urethra and bladder are located, making women more susceptible to developing such infections. Sexual intercourse may lead to a urinary tract infection but one need not be sexually active to develop it.

The survey was conducted by China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) from September to November this year on more than 1,000 urinary tract infection patients, doctors and drugstore employees in seven major cities in China.

In addition, the survey found the ratio of men with urinary tract infections has risen to one in four infected persons. Previously, male incidence for the infection stood at between one to 2 in 10 infected persons.

"Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as excessive drinking and smoking and long hours on the computer are among factors contributing to the rising incidence of urinary tract infections among young adults and men," a researcher from the China Association of TCM, surnamed She, told Interfax on Dec. 16.

Increasingly, more people are turning to TCM to treat urinary tract infections. According to the survey, 56 percent of patients with urinary tract infections have received TCM treatment while 38 percent of the doctors surveyed said they typically use TCM in combination with Western medicines.

Further, the survey disclosed that about 21 percent of male patients thought the infection is a sexually-transmitted disease and 37 percent of the patients stopped taking medication prematurely during the course of their treatment.

- KZ