Self-reported pelvic inflammatory disease in the United States, 1988

JAMA. 1991 Nov 13;266(18):2570-3.


Objective: --To assess any changes in the characteristics of women with self-reported pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) between 1982 and 1988 and to evaluate the role of additional behavioral factors. In 1982, PID was a frequent problem among American women of reproductive age, occurring in one in seven. It was also more common among older (greater than or equal to 30 years) than younger women, more common among blacks than among whites, and more common among formerly married women than among those currently married.

Design: --We analyzed data on self-reported PID from the cycle IV National Survey of Family Growth, conducted in 1988.

Sample: --The survey was conducted with a multistage probability sample of 8450 women.

Results: --The findings from 1982 were all replicated. Additional variables available in 1988 show that PID is more common among women with multiple (two or more) sexual partners (10% to 22%) compared with those with only one lifetime partner (7%) and among women who report a history of sexually transmitted disease (STD) (26%) compared with those with no STD history (10%). Controlling for other variables, age, race, vaginal douching, age at first intercourse, STD history, and number of lifetime partners emerged as independent predictors of self-reported PID among American women of reproductive age.

Conclusion: --PID is still a widely prevalent condition among American women, PID is associated with a variety of risk factors for STD. Prevention of lower genital tract infection is crucial to avoiding PID and its sequelae.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / epidemiology*
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / ethnology
  • Probability
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Behavior
  • United States / epidemiology