Are antepartum urinary tract infections associated with adverse perinatal outcomes in Kenya?

Laila U Abubakar, Sylvia K Onchaga, Fatmah K Abdallah


Background: Pregnant women are considered immuno-compromised because of the physiologic changes associated with pregnancy. Consequently, they often host urinary tract infections which have been implicated as a risk factor for numerous complications.

Objective: To investigate the antepartum urinary tract infection profile among pregnant women in Kenya and their association with perinatal outcomes.

Methodology: A retrospective cohort of expectant women admitted at Kisii Level 5 hospital in 2012 were studied to determine the prevalence of urinary tract infections in pregnancy. The antenatal records were also correlated with adverse perinatal outcomes.

Results: Out of the 2014 pregnant women attending clinic in this study, 14.4% were diagnosed with urinary tract infections in the third trimester. The prevalence rate of the infections was affected by the age, with pregnant women below 25 years showing higher susceptibility (P= 0.018) compared to pregnant women above 35 years age group. There was a significant association between preterm delivery, low birth weights and urinary tract infections in pregnant women (P<0.01). However, there was no significant correlation between maternal urinary tract infections and the incidence of neonatal sepsis at P=0.05.

Discussion: Pregnant women under the age of 25 are vulnerable to urinary tract infections resulting in adverse perinatal outcomes in the study population. This reinforces the need for screening of pregnant women and treatment of urinary tract infections to reduce perinatal complications. Further research is required to elucidate the underlying risk factors for neonatal sepsis.

Key Words: pregnancy, urinary tract infections, perinatal outcomes, preterm delivery, low birth weight


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