In a partnership aimed at addressing one of the most common conditions troubling women, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and the Cranberry Marketing Committee (CMC) announced today an educational initiative to spread awareness about urinary tract infections (UTIs) and how to prevent them. The new "Partnership in Education" includes the launch of an informational website, (www.myUThealth.org) and the development of an informational brochure. The website offers interactive features, including an online health quiz and "Ask the Doctor" blog that provides visitors an opportunity to post questions and receive an answer from a physician within 48 hours.
UTIs occur when bacteria get into the urinary tract and multiply, causing redness, swelling and pain. According to the National Kidney Foundation, although men sometimes get UTIs, the condition is much more common in women, possibly because women have a shorter urethra which makes it easier for bacteria to travel up the bladder. In fact, 1 in 5 women will have at least one UTI in her lifetime and nearly 20 percent of women who have one UTI will have another. UTIs are a leading cause of lost work time for women, second only to respiratory infections. About 80 to 90 percent of UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria. UTIs are often treated with antibiotics and by drinking lots of fluids.
Recent studies have shown that drinking cranberry juice or eating cranberry products, including dried cranberries and supplements, may help prevent UTIs, which account for 10 million doctor visits each year. Cranberries contain certain compounds that may stop bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract wall.
"UTIs occur in the bladder, but if not treated promptly, they can spread to the kidneys, causing a more serious infection," says John Davis, NKF's CEO. "We are excited to partner with the Cranberry Marketing Committee to offer information about symptoms and treatment as well as prevention tips that will reach millions of women, causing widespread awareness of this common and painful, but preventable condition."
"Because UTIs affect so many Americans, the Cranberry Marketing Committee is pleased to partner with the NKF, an organization that has done a tremendous job educating U.S. consumers about UTI prevention and treatment," says David Farrimond, executive director of the CMC. "We look forward to working with the NKF to provide research, information and resources to the American public to help them maintain a healthy urinary tract and to prevent UTIs."
The National Kidney Foundation is the nation's largest voluntary agency dedicated to preventing and treating kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.