Prevalence and determinants of Chlamydia trachomatis infection among young women (14–24 years) in Turin, Italy

Abstract number: P2157

Salfa M.C., Latino M.A., Regine V., De Maria D., Rosso C., De Intinis G., Camoni L., Longo B., Suligoi B.

Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis infection in young women (14–24 years) from the general population and to determine risk factors associated with infection.

Methods: The study population consisted of sexually active young (geqslant R: gt-or-equal, slanted14 years old) women attending a public gynaecology clinic in the city of Turin (northern Italy) for a first visit between January 2002 and December 2005. Chlamydia was detected with the Ligase Chain Reaction test performed on an endocervical sample.

Results: A total of 1,849 young women were included in the study. The mean age was 21.6±2.1 years; 76.7% were Italian; 66.4% had two or more lifetime partners; 70.0% were single; 57.6% had a high school diploma. Chlamydia was detected in 6.2% of the study population. Among 407 asymptomatic women, the prevalence was 2.7%, whereas among the remaining 1,440 was 7.2%. Among 431 women originating from outside Italy, the prevalence was 9.3% (12.0% among 225 women from Eastern Europe, 7.3% among 124 women from Africa), and 5.3% among Italian women.

Chlamydia prevalence was 8.1% in the group aged 14–21 years and 4.8% in the group aged 22–24 years (p < 0.005). At the multivariate analysis, the positivity for Chlamydia was significantly associated with originating from outside of Italy (OR 2.62), high number of lifetime sexual partners (2–3 vs. 1 partner; OR 2.85), and having had more than one partner in the previous six months (OR 2.30).

Conclusion: The prevalence found in this study was higher compared to that reported in a previous Italian study conducted between 1997 and 2000 in a population of women of same age in the same geographic area (prevalence: 3.5%) (Latino et al., Sex Transm Inf, 2002). Even when disaggregating by presence of symptoms or by age group, the prevalence observed in our study was higher. This finding can be attributed to: a) higher proportion of foreign women in our study (23.3%) compared to the study of Latino et al. (9.6%); b) a true increase in incidence of Chlamydia infection after year 2000. The high prevalence observed among foreign women is probably associated with the high frequency of Chlamydia in their countries of origin. The risk factors for Chlamydia infection found in our study suggest that testing should be primarily offered to women younger than 22 years, even if asymptomatic, and also to foreign women and women with multiple partners.

Session Details

Date: 19/04/2008
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: 18th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Presentation type:
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