Association between enhanced screening for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae and reductions in sequelae among women

J Adolesc Health. 2012 Jul;51(1):80-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.11.002. Epub 2012 Feb 22.


Purpose: Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) are typically asymptomatic, but, if untreated, can lead to sequelae including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and ectopic pregnancy. The objective was to describe trends of these sequelae in Philadelphia after implementing citywide screening in a high-morbidity population (>6% positivity).

Methods: In this ecologic study, which used data from 1996 to 2007, multivariable linear regression analysis was used to assess the association between the number of annual CT/GC screening tests by gender and the number of women aged 14-30 years hospitalized for PID or ectopic pregnancy. A standardized hospitalization database provided the number of admissions with a discharge diagnosis of PID or ectopic pregnancy. Positive CT/GC laboratory results reported by hospitals and emergency departments (EDs) were used as a proxy for outpatient PID.

Results: Between 1996 and 2007, CT/GC screening increased by 188%, whereas declines were noted in hospitalized PID cases (36%, -173 cases), ectopic pregnancy (38%, -119 cases), and ED-diagnosed CT/GC cases (39%, -727 cases). Screening 10,000 females for CT/GC corresponded with 26.1 fewer hospitalized PID cases (95% confidence interval 11.2-41.1), whereas screening 10,000 males corresponded to 10.4 (95% CI: 2.6-18.2) fewer cases. Although male screening was not significantly associated with ectopic pregnancy, screening 10,000 females was associated with 28.6 fewer ectopic pregnancies (95% CI: 7.4-49.8).

Conclusions: This ecologic analysis found a correlation between large-scale CT/GC screening in a high-morbidity population and reductions in hospitalized PID, ectopic pregnancies, and ED-diagnosed CT/GC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chlamydia Infections / complications*
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Female
  • Gonorrhea / complications*
  • Gonorrhea / diagnosis*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / standards
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / epidemiology
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / etiology
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / prevention & control*
  • Philadelphia / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Ectopic / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy, Ectopic / etiology
  • Pregnancy, Ectopic / prevention & control*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult