To the Editor: In the April 16 issue, Dontas et al.1 reported an association between bacteriuria and excess mortality in elderly ambulatory residents of an institution in Athens. We wish to point out that their study does not establish a cause- and-effect relation. Among patients over 70 years of age, 20 per cent or more have bacteriuria,1,2 and if the provision of antibiotic treatment or prophylaxis in this group were considered, this would be a considerable undertaking. There is a possibility that other factors, such as disease of the central nervous system, could account for both reduced life expectancy and. . .
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