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Chlamydia Rampant Among Young U.S. Adults

Posted - May 12, 2004 at 6:20 a.m.



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CHAPEL HILL, N.C., May 11, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- More than one in 25 young adults in the United States is infected with the organism that causes the sexually transmitted disease known as chlamydia.

The latest results from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a continuing University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill investigation, has shown the prevalence of chlamydial infection was higher than expected, especially among men. The infection was present in all races, researchers said, but six times greater in young black adults than in young whites.

Almost 14 percent of young black women and more than 11 percent of black men of comparable ages carried the bug. Analysis of urine specimens of 12,548 study participants from across the country showed U.S. Asian men to have the lowest infection rates. The highest infection rate occurred in the South at 5.4 percent, and the lowest was in the Northeast at 2.4 percent.

Overall, the prevalence of gonorrhea was far lower -- 0.43 percent, the scientists discovered. Among black men and women, however, the prevalence was 2.13 percent.

If not detected and treated, chlamydia, which usually has no symptoms, can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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