Risk Factors for Recurrent Chlamydia trachomatis Infections in Women

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

We evaluated risk factors for recurrent Chlamydia trachomatis infections in women.

STUDY DESIGN

We used a retrospective cohort design to examine predictors of recurrent infection in the 38,866 female residents of Wisconsin whose first reported C. trachomatis infection occurred between 1985 and 1989.

RESULTS

Young age at first reported infection was the strongest predictor of recurrent C. trachomatis infection, after adjustment for covariates. Adolescents <15 years old had an eightfold increased risk, those 15 to 19 years old had a fivefold increased risk, and women 20 to 29 years old had a twofold increased risk of recurrent C. trachomatis infection, compared with that among women 30 to 44 years old. In 54% of those aged <15 at initial infection and 30% of those aged 15 to 19, recurrence developed. Other characteristics associated with recurrence included black race, residence in Milwaukee County, coinfection with gonorrhea, and past sexually transmitted diseases; receiving care in a family-planning clinic appeared protective.

CONCLUSIONS

Implementation of strategies to reduce the markedly elevated risk of recurrent chlamydia infections is urgently needed in female adolescents. (AM J OBSTET GYNECOL 1994;170:801-6.)

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