How common are urinary tract infections?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are most common in young to middle-aged sexually active women. Older adults of both sexes are also at increased risk.

In women:

  • Every year, 11% report having a UTI.1
  • 50% develop at least one UTI sometime during their lifetime.1
  • Most will have future UTIs.1
  • By age 70, 10% have a chronic urinary tract infection.2

In men:3

  • UTIs are uncommon. When they do happen, they may be caused by an inborn structural problem.
  • UTIs become more common in later life. These infections are usually caused by prostate enlargement.

UTIs are also common in babies and young children.


  1. Fihn SD (2003). Acute uncomplicated urinary tract infection in women. New England Journal of Medicine, 349(3): 259–266.
  2. Krieger JN (2002). Urinary tract infections: What's new? Journal of Urology, 168(6): 2351–2358.
  3. Murphy PA (2007). Genitourinary infections. In NH Fiebach et al., eds., Principles of Ambulatory Medicine, 7th ed., pp. 528–538. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Last Updated: June 8, 2009

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