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NIH-funded Pediatric UTI Study: Use of Urine Tests Prior to Prescribing Antibiotics in Outpatient Setting

Photo of small children.

Researchers have found that health care providers in outpatient settings do not perform urine tests prior to prescribing antibiotics in a significant number of children seen with symptoms of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Findings from the study, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), were published in the September issue of Pediatrics.

Researchers analyzed 40,603 antibiotic-treated UTI episodes in 28,678 children under 18 years. Of the total episodes, urinalysis was performed in 75 percent and urine culture was performed in 57 percent. Additionally, researchers found that in about 20 percent of episodes, no urine testing was performed.

The authors noted that variation in urine culture use was based on physician specialty and the patient’s age and gender. More research is needed to determine the implications of the study findings.

Study Finding: ER Visits for Women with Kidney Stones on the Rise

Researchers have found that emergency room (ER) visits for women with kidney stones are increasing in the United States. Hospitalization rates for men and women with kidney stones have remained stable, according to the study findings published online in the Journal of Urology.

Using the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, researchers found more than 3.6 million ER visits with a primary diagnosis of kidney stones over a 4-year period. Overall, the incidence of kidney stones increased. Although more men with kidney stones visited the ER, the researchers noted a significant increase in ER visits in women with the diagnosis. Researchers noted that women with kidney stones were also more likely to be hospitalized, and that increasing obesity in women may be a factor. According to previous studies, obese women are more likely than obese men to develop kidney stones.

The authors cited the increasing use of CT scans and medication therapy in the ER as possible reasons for hospitalization rates remaining stable during the study leaving site icon.

Tips for Finding Reliable Health Information Online

Finding accurate, reliable, and current health information online can be difficult and overwhelming. The Internet has a wealth of health information—some information is true and accurate, and some is not.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when visiting a website:

  • Websites should have a way to contact the organization or webmaster. If the site provides no contact information or it is not clear who runs the site, use caution.
  • Beware of claims that offer one cure for a variety of illnesses, like a breakthrough or secret ingredient.
  • Look for latest findings from research, not an individual’s opinion.
  • And, always remember to write down questions to bring to doctor visits.

Several Government resources offer additional tips when searching for online health information:

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NIDDK Healthy Moments Series
Healthy Moments is an annual series of weekly radio episodes featuring National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., M.A.C.P. Each week, Dr. Rodgers provides tips on how to prevent and manage a variety of diseases and conditions.

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MedlinePlus Guide to Healthy Web Surfing
This page includes suggestions for evaluating the quality of health information on websites.

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Evaluating Internet Health Information: A Tutorial from the National Library of Medicine
This 16-minute tutorial from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) teaches consumers to evaluate the health information found on the Web.

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FAQ: Reference & Consumer Health Questions
This page from the NLM provides health information and NLM resources based on frequently asked consumer health questions.

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Finding and Evaluating Online Resources on Complementary Health Approaches
This guide from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine provides help for finding reliable websites, and outlines things to consider in evaluating health information from websites and social media sources.

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Evaluating Online Sources of Health Information
The National Cancer Institute provides a list of questions for consumers to ask when looking for cancer information online. A video from the Federal Trade Commission is included.

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Online Health Information: Can You Trust It?
The National Institute on Aging provides information for older adults on finding reliable sources of health information online.

New and Updated Publications

Recent Issues

September 2013

NIDDK-funded Study Finding: Researchers Report Characteristics in Children with VUR

Image of a male physician, a female child, and a female adult.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)-funded researchers found that a cohort of children enrolled in the Randomized Intervention for Children with Vesicoureteral Reflux (RIVUR) trial have similar demographic and clinical characteristics to those in previously published U.S. studies. RIVUR is the largest prospective, randomized trial to date comparing prophylaxis with placebo in children with vesicoureteral reflux (VUR). The ongoing trial addresses the lack of a placebo or observational arm in previous studies and aims to collect higher-quality evidence for preventing recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children with VUR.

Investigators at 19 pediatric U.S. sites recruited 558 girls and 49 boys with grades I through IV VUR. The median age was 12 months, and 91 percent of the children were enrolled after their first UTI. Renal cortical defects were identified in 15 percent of participants. Similar to previous U.S. studies, 91 percent of children were females, and 80 percent were Caucasian. More than 90 percent of children in this study cohort and previous U.S. studies had grade III or lower VUR; the majority of these children had grade II or grade III VUR.

New Treatment Approved for Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder, a common condition in which the bladder squeezes either too often or without warning, affects 33 million men and women in the United States. Symptoms include leaking urine (urinary incontinence), feeling the sudden and urgent need to urinate, and frequent urination. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s expanded use of Botox to treat adults with overactive bladder provides a new, important treatment option for those affected by this condition.

Botox’s safety and effectiveness for this new indication were established in two clinical trials of 1,105 patients with symptoms of overactive bladder. Treatment with Botox can be repeated when the benefits from the previous treatment have decreased, but there should be at least 12 weeks between treatments.

New and Updated Publications


Page last updated December 18, 2013


The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health.

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