University of Oulu

Kuitunen, I., Artama, M., Haapanen, M. et al. Urinary tract infections decreased in Finnish children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eur J Pediatr 181, 1979–1984 (2022).

Urinary tract infections decreased in Finnish children during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Author: Kuitunen, Ilari1,2; Artama, Miia3,4; Haapanen, Marjut1;
Organizations: 1Institute of Clinical Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
2Department of Pediatrics, Mikkeli Central Hospital, Porrassalmenkatu 35-37, 50100, Mikkeli, Finland
3Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Epidemiology, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
4Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare, Tampere, Finland
5Department of Pediatrics, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
6PEDEGO Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-08-25


Social restrictions reduced the rates of respiratory infections in 2020, but studies on the rates of urinary tract infections (UTIs) during lockdown have had conflicting results. This study aimed to report UTI incidence during the first and second waves of COVID-19 pandemic in Finland. We conducted a retrospective register-based cohort study. The whole Finnish pediatric population (children under the age of 15 years, N = 860,000) was included. The yearly and monthly incidences of UTIs per 100,000 children in 2020 were compared to that of three previous years (2017–2019) by incidence rate ratios (IRRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). A total of 10,757 cystitis and 4873 pyelonephritis cases were included. The yearly incidence of cystitis was 12% lower (IRR 0.88, CI 0.83–0.94) among children aged 1–6 in 2020 and 11% (IRR 0.89, CI 0.83–0.95) lower among children aged 7–14 in 2020 compared with previous years. The yearly incidence of pyelonephritis was 16% lower (IRR 0.84, CI 0.76–0.94) among children aged 1–6. No significant decrease were observed among children aged < 1 and 7–14.

Conclusion: The incidence of cystitis and pyelonephritis during a period of social restrictions was lower than during 2017–2019, especially in children aged 1–6 years. These results raise the possibility of reducing the occurrence of urinary tract infections in children by improving hygiene measures.

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Series: European journal of pediatrics
ISSN: 0340-6199
ISSN-E: 1432-1076
ISSN-L: 0340-6199
Volume: 181
Issue: 5
Pages: 1979 - 1984
DOI: 10.1007/s00431-022-04389-9
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Eastern Finland (UEF) including Kuopio University Hospital.
Dataset Reference: The online version contains supplementary material available at
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit