More Screenings May Explain Higher Chlamydia Rates Among
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Screening rates for the
sexually transmitted disease chlamydia are significantly higher in
the United States among young black and Hispanic women than among
young white women, which might explain why black and Hispanic women
have higher reported rates of the disease, a new study
Researchers who analyzed data from more than 40,000 visits to
health-care facilities found that young Hispanic women were 9.7
times more likely to be screened for chlamydia than young white
women. The screening rate was 2.7 times greater for young black
The investigators also found that:
- Women with public health insurance were more likely to have
chlamydia testing than were those with private insurance.
- A medical history was more important than race, ethnicity or
insurance status in terms of differences in chlamydia
- Young women with a previous sexually transmitted disease were
more likely to be screened for chlamydia, regardless of race or
- After a pregnancy, young Hispanic women were 24 times more
likely and young black women were four times more likely than young
white women to be screened for chlamydia.
The study was published online Jan. 24 in
"For some common conditions like breast cancer, white women are more likely to receive a screening test like mammography," the study's first author, Dr. Sarah E. Wiehe, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, said in a university news release. "For chlamydia infections -- which are highly stigmatized STDs -- white women are less likely, while minority women are more likely, to receive screening," she noted.
"This may mean that providers make judgments about a woman's likelihood of infection based on her race or ethnicity," Wiehe added. "Yet in an asymptomatic condition like chlamydia, all sexually active young women should be screened."
She said that pediatricians, internists, family doctors and
gynecologists must be encouraged to conduct chlamydia screening for
all sexually active young women under their care.
The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
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