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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007 Mar;161(3):246-51.

Burden of recurrent Chlamydia trachomatis infections in young women: further uncovering the "hidden epidemic".

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health and Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, Yale University, 60 College Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. linda.niccolai@yale.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the frequency and patterns of recurrent Chlamydia trachomatis infections, the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in young women.

DESIGN:

Cohort study using different data collection methods, including face-to-face interviews, medical record reviews, urine-based screening for C trachomatis infections, and a review of state health department reports of C trachomatis diagnoses.

SETTING:

Ten community-based health centers that provided reproductive health care from June 1998 to September 2001.

PARTICIPANTS:

Eligibility criteria included being nulliparous, between the ages of 14 and 19 years, and human immunodeficiency virus-negative, all at the time of recruitment. This convenience sample (N = 411) was recruited by word of mouth, clinician referrals, and advertisements in the clinics. Prospective follow-up data were available for 93.9% (386/411) of the sample. The exposure of interest was prior chlamydia infection. Main Outcome Measure Diagnosis of recurrent C trachomatis infection.

RESULTS:

During the follow-up period of 23 318 person-months (mean, 4.7 years per person), 216 participants (52.6%) were diagnosed as having C trachomatis infection, and 123 participants (29.9% of the total sample and 56.9% of those with initial infections) were diagnosed as having recurrent C trachomatis infections. Of 456 C trachomatis diagnoses made during the study period, 241 (52.9%) were recurrent infections. The rate of recurrent infections was 42.1 per 1000 person-months. The median time to recurrent infection was 5.2 months.

CONCLUSION:

Recurrent C trachomatis infections comprise a substantial health burden among young women, possibly higher than previously recognized in this vulnerable population.

PMID:
17339505
DOI:
10.1001/archpedi.161.3.246
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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