Are Women Being Overscreened for Some STIs?

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Are Women Being Overscreened for Some STIs?
Are Women Being Overscreened for Some STIs?

(HealthDay News) — For urban women aged ≥25 years, the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) is low, and women may be overscreened, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Jaleesa A. Jackson, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the prevalence of CT and NG among older women aged ≥25 years who were tested or screened for CT/NG. Data were collected from 658 eligible women.

The researchers found that the median age of those positive for CT/NG was 30 years. The prevalence of chlamydia was 1.7% and that of gonorrhea was 0.3%. Symptomatic women were three times more likely to test positive for CT/NG after adjustment for age (adjusted odds ratio, 3.4), while sexually transmitted infection (STI)-exposed women were 10 times more likely to test positive (adjusted odds ratio, 10.0). There was no correlation between nonmonogamous relationship, abnormal examination results, and previous STI and CT/NG among asymptomatic non-STI-exposed women. Twenty-one percent of women experienced overscreening, and were all menopausal, had a hysterectomy, or were aged >40 years.

"CT/NG prevalence among older women was low, even in a community of high STI prevalence," the authors write. "More than 20% of women could have avoided CT/NG evaluation without impacting the detection of positive results in our clinic cohort. Overscreening occurred among asymptomatic, non-STI-exposed women who were menopausal, had a hysterectomy, and were >40 years old."

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