Race and the prevalence of syphilis seroreactivity in the United States population: a national sero-epidemiologic study

Am J Public Health. 1989 Apr;79(4):467-70. doi: 10.2105/ajph.79.4.467.


We used the 1978 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to examine the prevalence of positive syphilis serologies in the US population. Analysis of risk markers--gender, age, marital status, education, income, and residence--indicates that all except gender are associated with syphilis seroreactivity, independent of race. Controlling for associated risk markers, the Black-White odds ratio of syphilis seroreactivity is 4.7 (95% CI = 2.7, 8.2). Current knowledge of racial differences in sexual and health care behavior does not explain the Black-White difference in the prevalence of syphilis seroreactivity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Black or African American
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Syphilis / ethnology*
  • Syphilis / prevention & control
  • Syphilis Serodiagnosis*
  • United States
  • White People