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Cranberry Reduces the Risk of Urinary Tract Infection Recurrence in Otherwise Healthy Women

Cranberry Reduces the Risk of Urinary Tract Infection Recurrence in Otherwise Healthy Women

Cranberry Reduces the Risk of Urinary Tract Infection Recurrence in Otherwise Healthy Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis [Nutritional Epidemiology]

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Background: Cranberry (Vaccinium spp.) has been advocated for treatment of urinary tract infection (UTI); however, its efficacy is controversial. Women have a 50% risk of UTI over their lifetime, and ~20–30% experience a subsequent UTI recurrence.

Objective: We conducted this meta-analysis to assess the effect of cranberry on the risk of UTI recurrence in otherwise healthy women.

Methods: Literature published before January 2011 was obtained from 2 published systematic reviews, and we conducted updated searches in EMBASE and MEDLINE (through July 2017). We included randomized controlled trials that were conducted in generally healthy nonpregnant women aged ≥18 y with a history of UTI, compared cranberry intervention to a placebo or control, and reported the outcome as the number of participants experiencing a UTI.

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Two researchers conducted abstract and full-text screenings, data extractions, and risk of bias assessments independently, and discrepancies were resolved by group consensus. Meta-analyses were performed by using Stata SE software (version 13). We employed a fixed-effect model using the Mantel-Haenszel method to estimate the summary risk if the heterogeneity was low to moderate (I2 < 50%). Otherwise, we applied a random-effects model using the DerSimonian-Laird method.

Results: We identified 7 randomized controlled trials conducted in healthy women at risk of UTI (n = 1498 participants). Results of the meta-analysis showed that cranberry reduced the risk of UTI by 26% (pooled risk ratio: 0.74; 95% CI: 0.55, 0.98; I2 = 54%). Risk of bias indicated that 2 studies had high loss to follow-up or selective outcome reporting. Overall, the studies were relatively small, with only 2 having >300 participants.

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Conclusion: These results suggest that cranberry may be effective in preventing UTI recurrence in generally healthy women; however, larger high-quality studies are needed to confirm these findings. This trial was registered at as CRD42015024439.


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