Which children are at a risk for
urinary reflux?

Find out which children are at risk for urinary reflux


Gender, race, and age are three factors that may matter

After a diagnosis of vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), also known as urinary reflux, you may wonder, “Why my child?” Like most medical conditions, VUR is more common in some groups than others.

Girls have a greater risk of developing VUR than boys

In general, girls are about twice as likely to develop urinary reflux because girls tend to have more frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Repeated UTIs may cause the ureters to swell, resulting in a urinary blockage. The blockage can cause the urine to back up. Boys, on the other hand, are more likely to have primary VUR, which is VUR that’s caused by a slight defect present before the child is born.

If your child is fair skinned, he or she is at greater risk of having VUR

Light skinned children are at a significantly greater risk for VUR and usually have a higher grade of VUR with more risk for kidney damage (scarring).1,2

Children under two years old have a greater risk

Because infants and toddlers up to 2 years old have a higher risk for kidney scarring, your doctor may want to test your child for VUR after his or her first UTI with fever.

VUR runs in families

If you or your spouse had VUR, it’s possible that your child will too.

Family Relationship Risk of VUR
Child of Parent with VUR ~35%3
Child of Mother with VUR Up to 50%4
Sibling of a child with VUR ~30%3


VUR Overview for Caregivers Ebook

  1. Baskin LS, Kogan BA, Stock JA. Handbook of Pediatric Urology Third Edition. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer; 2019.
  2. Chand DH, Rhoades T, Poe SA, Kraus S, Strife CF. Incidence and severity of vesicoureteral reflux in children related to age, gender, race and diagnosis. J Urol. 2003;170:1548-1550.
  3. Skoog SJ, Peters CA, Arant BS, et al. Pediatric vesicoureteral reflux guidelines panel summary report: clinical practice guidelines for screening siblings of children with vesicoureteral reflux and neonates/infants with prenatal hydronephrosis. J Urol. 2010;184:1145-1151.
  4. Elder JS. Vesicoureteral reflux. In: Kliegman R, Nelson WE, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier/Saunders; 2011:1834-1838.