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Risk factors for Chlamydia trachomatis infection in adolescents: results from a representative population-based survey in Germany, 2003-2006

Risk factors for Chlamydia trachomatis infection in adolescents: results from a representative population-based survey in Germany, 2003-2006

Euro Surveillance 18(34)

Infections with Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) can lead to severe sequelae; however, they are not notifiable in Germany. We tested urine samples from participants of KiGGS (German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents) for CT infections and linked the results to demographic and behavioural data from 1,925 participants (girls aged 15-17 years and boys aged 16-17 years) to determine a representative prevalence of CT infection in adolescents in Germany and to assess associated risk factors. Prevalence of CT infection was 2.2% (95% CI: 1.4-3.5) in girls and 0.2% (95% CI: 0.1-0.7) in boys. CT infection in girls was associated with higher use of alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes, lower social status, oral contraceptive use, pregnancy, repeated lower abdominal pain and higher rates of doctors' consultations within the preceding three months and consultation of gynaecologists within the last 12 months. In multiple logistic regression, we identified two predictors for CT infection: marijuana consumption often or several times within the last 12 months (F(1,164)=7.56; p<0.05) and general health status less than 'very good' (F(1,164)=3.83; p=0.052). Given our findings, we recommend enhancing sex education before sexual debut and promoting safe sex practices regardless of the contraceptive method used. Well-informed consumption of alcohol should be promoted, the risky behaviour of people intoxicated through consumption of marijuana highlighted and doctors' awareness of CT screening enhanced.

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Accession: 055580025

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PMID: 23987832

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