Bartholin's Duct Abscess and Cyst: A Case-Control Study

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Little is known about the epidemiology of Bartholin's duct abscess and cyst. We did an emergency department-based case-control study to examine demographic risk factors for this condition. We found that risk varied by age. After adjustment for pregnancy status, the relative odds (odds ratio [OR]) of occurrence of Bartholin's duct abscess for women 20 to 29 years old, compared to women younger than 20 years, was 2.3. The association was weaker among women in their 30s and 40s (OR=1.4 and 1.1, respectively). The majority of patients were Hispanic whites (66% of cases and 79% of control subjects). Risk of Bartholin's duct abscess was greater among non-Hispanic white women (OR=1.9) and black women (OR=2.4). At lowest risk of this condition were women with high parity (≥4) or high gravidity (≥5). These findings suggest that the risk factor profile of this condition is similar to that of most sexually transmitted diseases. The advisability of presumptive antibiotic treatment of these patients and examination and treatment of their sexual partners should be considered.

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