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Antibiotic prescribing for lower UTI in elderly patients in primary care and risk of bloodstream infection: A cohort study using electronic health records in England

Shallcross, L; Rockenschaub, P; Blackburn, R; Nazareth, I; Freemantle, N; Hayward, A; (2020) Antibiotic prescribing for lower UTI in elderly patients in primary care and risk of bloodstream infection: A cohort study using electronic health records in England. PLOS Medicine , 17 (9) , Article e1003336. 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003336. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Research has questioned the safety of delaying or withholding antibiotics for suspected urinary tract infection (UTI) in older patients. We evaluated the association between antibiotic treatment for lower UTI and risk of bloodstream infection (BSI) in adults aged ≥65 years in primary care. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We analyzed primary care records from patients aged ≥65 years in England with community-onset UTI using the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (2007-2015) linked to Hospital Episode Statistics and census data. The primary outcome was BSI within 60 days, comparing patients treated immediately with antibiotics and those not treated immediately. Crude and adjusted associations between exposure and outcome were estimated using generalized estimating equations. A total of 147,334 patients were included representing 280,462 episodes of lower UTI. BSI occurred in 0.4% (1,025/244,963) of UTI episodes with immediate antibiotics versus 0.6% (228/35,499) of episodes without immediate antibiotics. After adjusting for patient demographics, year of consultation, comorbidities, smoking status, recent hospitalizations, recent accident and emergency (A&E) attendances, recent antibiotic prescribing, and home visits, the odds of BSI were equivalent in patients who were not treated with antibiotics immediately and those who were treated on the date of their UTI consultation (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.13, 95% CI 0.97-1.32, p-value = 0.105). Delaying or withholding antibiotics was associated with increased odds of death in the subsequent 60 days (aOR 1.17, 95% CI 1.09-1.26, p-value < 0.001), but there was limited evidence that increased deaths were attributable to urinary-source BSI. Limitations include overlap between the categories of immediate and delayed antibiotic prescribing, residual confounding underlying differences between patients who were/were not treated with antibiotics, and lack of microbiological diagnosis for BSI. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we observed that delaying or withholding antibiotics in older adults with suspected UTI did not increase patients' risk of BSI, in contrast with a previous study that analyzed the same dataset, but mortality was increased. Our findings highlight uncertainty around the risks of delaying or withholding antibiotic treatment, which is exacerbated by systematic differences between patients who were and were not treated immediately with antibiotics. Overall, our findings emphasize the need for improved diagnostic/risk prediction strategies to guide antibiotic prescribing for suspected UTI in older adults.

Type: Article
Title: Antibiotic prescribing for lower UTI in elderly patients in primary care and risk of bloodstream infection: A cohort study using electronic health records in England
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003336
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003336
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > Comprehensive CTU at UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10111161
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