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Drinking More Water Prevents Cystitis

November 28, 2018

Written by Vivian Lei

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In premenopausal women with recurrent cystitis, drinking more water on a daily basis can reduce episodes of cystitis.

Why does this matter?
Acute cystitis is extremely common in women, with a lifetime risk of greater than 50%. Furthermore, a great deal of anti-microbial use is devoted to treatment and prevention of cystitis. This study examines the commonly advocated advice to increase water intake in prevention of UTIs, a belief without much prior evidence.

Drink more water, easy pee-sy
This was a randomized, controlled study of increased water intake in women with recurrent cystitis. Premenopausal female patients age 18 and older were recruited to the study if they had at least 3 symptomatic episodes of documented cystitis in the past year and self-reported drinking less than 1.5 L of fluid daily.  Participants were randomized to drink an additional 1.5 L of water daily or no additional fluids (control). 140 total women were randomized with a mean age of 35.7 and had a mean of 3.3 episodes of cystitis over the prior year. The researchers assessed daily fluid intake and urinary hydration at 6- and 12-months and through monthly telephone calls. Over the 12-month study period, the mean number of cystitis episodes in women in the increased water intake group was 1.7 versus 3.2 in the control group. The mean number of antimicrobial regimens used to treat cystitis was 1.9 in the water group and 3.6 in the control group. The mean time interval between cystitis episodes was 142.8 in the water group and 84.4 days in the control group. All differences were statistically significant. This seems to be compelling data that supports the benefit of increased water intake in reducing the risk of recurrent cystitis in women with a history of frequent recurrent cystitis who are low-volume fluid drinkers. Moreover, drinking more water is safe, inexpensive, and relatively easy to implement. 

The study was funded by Danone, which sells bottled water.

Effect of Increased Daily Water Intake in Premenopausal Women With Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Oct 1. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.4204. [Epub ahead of print]

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Reviewed by Clay Smith

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