Risk-factors for meningococcal disease in Victoria, Australia, in 1997

Epidemiol Infect. 2001 Oct;127(2):261-8. doi: 10.1017/s0950268801005696.


In Victoria between 1990 and 1996, meningococcal infections occurred in 1-2/100,000 people each year, with sometimes devastating outcome. In 1997, a typical year, we conducted a case-control study of all cases notified to the State Disease Control Unit, to investigate personal, environmental and lifestyle risk factors. In bivariate analysis many exposures were statistically significantly different (at P = 0.01) in cases and controls. The level of risk, and specific risks, differed between children (under 16) and adults (16 years and over). In multivariate analysis few exposures remained significant (at P = 0.05). However, these included having a smoker amongst close contacts, exposure to construction dust, recent illness, a history of snoring and speech problems, and sharing a bedroom. Besides confirming some previously identified risk factors, this is the first time that snoring and speech problems have been identified as risk factors for meningococcal disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Meningococcal Infections / epidemiology
  • Meningococcal Infections / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Victoria / epidemiology