Kids' Kidneys are Safe

Urinary tract infections in childhood are unlikely to cause chronic kidney disease

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Urinary tract infections are thought to increase the risk of kidney disease in children. Yet, the evidence of this link is not strong and researchers are now challenging the notion.

Urinary tract infections do not increase the risk of chronic kidney disease in children with normal kidneys.

"Children are unlikely to get kidney disease from urinary tract infections."

This finding - which was made by Jarmo Salo, M.D., of the University of Oulu in Findland, and colleagues - should ease the common fear that urinary tract infections may lead to chronic kidney disease later down the line. Urinary tract infections are infections that start in the urinary system, which is made of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. While any part of the urinary system can become infected, most infections involve the bladder and urethra.

Out of a total of 1,576 children who went on to develop kidney disease, the researchers found only one case (0.3 percent) in which a urinary tract infection was the main cause of kidney disease.

Merely 13 patients had a history of urinary tract infections in childhood. However, these infections did not seem to be the cause of kidney disease. All 13 of these patients already had abnormalities of the kidney tissue.

In other words, the authors write, a child with normal kidneys does not appear to have a risk for kidney disease because of urinary tract infections.

The full results of this review are published in the journal Pediatrics

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
October 10, 2011
Last Updated:
October 11, 2011