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No Benefit Found with Antibiotics

Published Online: Wednesday, January 1, 2003   [ Request Print ]

For years, physicians have recommended regular urine tests for women with diabetes. Whenever bacteria were found, they would prescribe an antibiotic, whether or not the patient was symptomatic.

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (11/14/02) concludes that ?there are no benefits to obtaining routine urine cultures from diabetic women.?

In the 3-year study, 55 diabetic women with bacteria in their urine but no symptoms were given antibiotics.  Another 50 were given a placebo. They were screened every 3 months. The study found that 40% of the placebo group developed urinary tract infections. Yet, 42% of the treated group developed infections, demonstrating that the drugs had no preventive effect at all.

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