Chlamydia Rates Warrant Screening Young Women

Sexually active adolescents are most at risk

TUESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of chlamydia in the United States is 2.2 percent, compared with just 0.24 percent for gonorrhea, and warrants screening of sexually active young women, according to a report published in the July 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

S. Deblina Datta, M.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data on sexual history and urine samples from 6,632 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002.

The prevalence of chlamydia was 2.0 percent for males and 2.5 percent for females, with the highest prevalence among 14- to 19-year-old females and 14- to 29-year-old males. Among those with gonorrhea, 46 percent also had chlamydia, and 16.7 percent of females with a history of gonorrhea within the previous year also had chlamydia.

While the authors acknowledge that their study was limited by the specificity of urine samples for detecting chlamydia and gonorrhea as well as the potential for misclassification of sexual experience, they conclude that their findings support widespread screening.

"Extant recommendations for screening must be widely and consistently implemented to achieve reductions in disease burden," they conclude.

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