Can known risk factors explain racial differences in the occurrence of bacterial vaginosis?

Academic Article

Abstract

  • BACKGROUND: Black women are more likely to have bacterial vaginosis (BV) than are non-Hispanic white women. We examined whether this disparity can be explained by racial differences in known BV risk factors. METHODS: Nine hundred black and 235 white women were enrolled from five US sites. At baseline, structured interviews were conducted and vaginal swabs self-collected for Gram-stain and culture. RESULTS: Black women were more likely than white women to have BV/intermediate vaginal flora. They also were more likely to be older, have lower educational attainment and family incomes, have a history of a sexually transmitted disease, and douche. After adjustment for demographic and lifestyle factors, blacks remained at elevated risk for BV/intermediate flora (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.5-3.1). Blacks also were more likely to have specific BV-related vaginal microflora, as well as gonococcal or chlamydial cervicitis (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.2-3.8) after adjustment for known BV risk factors. CONCLUSION: Risk factor differences did not explain the observed racial disparity in the occurrence of BV, BV-related microflora, or gonococcal or chlamydial cervicitis. These findings highlight our limited understanding of the factors accounting for the occurrence of bacterial vaginosis and cervicitis among black and white women.
  • Authors

    Keywords

  • Adolescent, Adult, African Americans, Cervix Uteri, Chlamydia trachomatis, Disease Susceptibility, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Gardnerella vaginalis, Gram-Negative Anaerobic Bacteria, Humans, Mobiluncus, Mycoplasma hominis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Prevalence, Risk Factors, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Bacterial, Socioeconomic Factors, Therapeutic Irrigation, United States, Vagina, Vaginosis, Bacterial
  • Authorlist

  • Ness RB; Hillier S; Richter HE; Soper DE; Stamm C; Bass DC; Sweet RL; Rice P
  • Start Page

  • 201
  • End Page

  • 212
  • Volume

  • 95
  • Issue

  • 3