Modelling the impact of opportunistic screening on the sequelae and public healthcare costs of infection with Chlamydia trachomatis in Australian women

Public Health. 2006 Jan;120(1):42-9. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2005.03.002. Epub 2005 Nov 2.


Objectives: To describe the health outcomes and public healthcare costs of a single screening for Chlamydia trachomatis in Australian women aged 15-34 years.

Methods: A decision analytic model was used to determine the epidemiological estimates of prevalence and costs of C. trachomatis infection and its diagnosis, treatment and sequelae.

Results: We estimate that in any female population in Australia, with a Chlamydia prevalence rate of 5.7% or higher, a single screening examination for Chlamydia is cost saving for the public healthcare system.

Conclusions: We found that opportunistic screening of high-risk populations is likely to be cost saving to the public healthcare system, although there is not sufficient evidence to support periodic population screening. As our model uses conservative epidemiological and public healthcare cost estimates, the health and financial impacts of C. trachomatis used in the model may be an underestimate of the true costs of infection.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia Infections / economics
  • Chlamydia Infections / epidemiology
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / pathogenicity
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / economics*
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Models, Econometric
  • National Health Programs / economics
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Primary Health Care / economics
  • Women's Health / economics