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Chlamydia Screening: Expanding the Scope

Walter E. Stamm, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA 98195.

Grant Support: By National Institutes of Health grants (AI31448 and AI48769).

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest:Grants received: Abbott Laboratories, Corixa, ActivBioti; Consultancies: Abbott Laboratories, Corixa, ActivBiotics.

Requests for Single Reprints: Walter E. Stamm, MD, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, University of Washington Medical Center, Box 356523, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98195; e-mail, wes@u.washington.edu.

Ann Intern Med. 2004;141(7):570-572. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-141-7-200410050-00016
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Genital Chlamydia trachomatis infection remains the most commonly reported infectious disease in the United States, with an estimated annual incidence of at least 3 million cases and annual related costs exceeding $2 billion (12). Most initial infections in women are asymptomatic but may progress to serious sequelae, mainly pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and chronic pelvic pain. Without an effective vaccine, prevention programs have focused primarily on screening and treating young women, the highest-risk group in terms of prevalence and complications (3). Such programs have reduced the occurrence of pelvic inflammatory disease, have reduced the overall prevalence of chlamydia in the screened population, and have been cost-effective (34). Current guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force thus recommend annual screening of all sexually active women younger than 25 years of age (5), as well as other women with risk factors.



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