Urinary tract infection is a very common infection that affects a part of the urinary system.
The urinary system consists of the kidneys, bladder, ureters (tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder) and the urethra (tube connecting the bladder to the outside world).
Urinary tract infections are usually caused by bacteria and most commonly occurs in the bladder and/or urethra.
A recent study from Mount Sinai in New York found that urinary tract infections showing the strongest link with ischemic stroke, a type of stroke caused by blocked blood vessels in the brain.
The finding confirms that infections can trigger strokes.
Previous studies have examined infections as triggers of stroke, but they only focused on the correlation of acute infections with ischemic stroke.
In this study, the team examined a wider range of infections and connections with two other types of stroke:
Intracerebral hemorrhage, which is caused by a ruptured blood vessel in the brain, and a type of stroke that results from bleeds in the inner lining of the brain, called subarachnoid hemorrhage.
The team analyzed data from the New York State Inpatient Databases and Emergency Department Databases from 2006 to 2013.
They found that for ischemic stroke, every infection type (infections in the skin, urinary tract, septicemia, abdominal and respiratory) was linked to an increased likelihood of this type of stroke.
But the strongest link was found with urinary tract infection, which showed more than three times the increased risk of ischemic stroke within 30 days of infection.
For intracerebral hemorrhage, the connections with occurrence were strongest for urinary tract infections, septicemia (blood infection) and respiratory infections.
Respiratory infection was the only infection related to the occurrence of subarachnoid hemorrhage.
The findings suggest that doctors need to be aware that stroke can be triggered by infections.
Checking the health information in the previous weeks or months of a patient’s life before the stroke may help to find the possible causes of stroke if there was an infection during that time.
One author of the study is Mandip Dhamoon, M.D., Dr.P.H.
The study is published in Stroke.
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