Teens living in poor areas at Chlamydia risk

By  , ANI
Jun 06, 2013

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Squatter housingA study at the Ohio State University that analyzed data from a large national study tracked youths over time and drew the conslucion that adolescents who are living in neighbourhoods that are struck with poverty are at an increased risk of getting sexually transmitted infection. The infection mentioned in here is Chlamydia, occurring in young adulthood.

The research analysis suggested that children who lived in such poor neighbourhoods during their teenage years had an almost 25 per cent greater risk of having Chlamydia in their early 20s. The surprising fact is that this trend is found even if the teenagers themselves aren’t poor. The effect of living in an impoverished neighborhood on the risk for later infection was unaffected by other known STI risk factors, such as depression, having multiple sex partners or beginning sexual activity at a very young age.

Jodi Ford, who is the lead author of the study and is an assistant professor of nursing at Ohio State University said, “There is a long-term effect of living in poverty on the risk for sexually transmitted infections in young adulthood, above and beyond behavioral issues, we have a lot of interventions trying to address sexual risk behaviors, but few target neighborhood poverty and disadvantage. And this work shows that living in a poor neighborhood can have a long-term effect on health.”

Ford conducted the research with Christopher Browning, professor of sociology at Ohio State. The prevalence of chlamydia among the young adults surveyed was 4.6 per cent, which is relatively low compared to what national data suggest, Ford said. That could be because the national longitudinal study from which she drew her sample took place in schools, meaning it did not capture portions of the population who had dropped out prior to the beginning of the Add Health study.

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