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Acad Emerg Med. 1996 Nov;3(11):1030-4.

High prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases in women with urinary infections.

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1
St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, Detroit, MI 48236-2172, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the prevalence and factors associated with unrecognized sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in women who had pelvic examinations and were subsequently released from the ED with a sole diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI).

METHODS:

A 3-month retrospective chart review was performed in an urban teaching hospital ED (> 70,000 visits/year). Women aged 12-45 years who had pelvic examinations and were released from the ED with a sole diagnosis of UTI were included. Patient complaints, physical findings, and laboratory results were reviewed. Laboratory evaluations included the complete blood count, urinalysis, urine pregnancy test, and cervical cultures for Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, and Trichomonas.

RESULTS:

Of the 94 women who met study criteria, 53% had proven STDs (19% N. gonorrhoeae, 22% C. trachomatis, 33% Trichomonas). There was no difference between the patients with positive and negative tests for STDs with regard to complaints, physical findings, and laboratory results (all p > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Women undergoing pelvic examinations who are subsequently released from this urban ED with the diagnosis of UTI have a high (> 50%) prevalence of occult STDs. No complaint, physical finding, or laboratory result reviewed was associated with the risk of an STD. Consideration should be given to empirical antibiotic therapy in similar urban populations.

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