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Congenital syphilis: identification of two distinct profiles of maternal characteristics associated with risk.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14695956     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Behavioral and socioeconomic factors create considerable obstacles to the elimination of congenital syphilis. A clear understanding of maternal risk factors is important to define interventions in every community. GOAL: The goal of this study was to investigate maternal risk factors for congenital syphilis. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a case-control and descriptive analysis of 3 groups of live born infants and their mothers consisting of: group I (cases of congenital syphilis), group II (neonates without congenital syphilis whose mothers had been adequately treated for syphilis), and group III (random sample of newborn infants whose mothers have not had syphilis). Data were prospectively collected from personal interview and antenatal records. RESULTS: In the case-control study, including groups I and III, the maternal characteristics independently associated with congenital syphilis in the logistic regression were monthly per capita income under 30 US dollars (odds ratio [OR], 2.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-7.4), single status (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.1-7.8), and less than 6 prenatal visits (OR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.3-8.1). Comparison between groups I and II (only mothers who have had syphilis) showed a strong protective association of prenatal care with congenital syphilis (OR, 0.05; 95% CI, 0.00-0.39). Additional analysis identified 2 separate profiles of maternal characteristics, one consisting of low socioeconomic status and the other of risk behaviors. Some women who had syphilis before or during pregnancy received adequate prenatal care and delivered infants without congenital syphilis. Most of these women had high-risk behaviors but they were, in general, less poor, older, and more educated than mothers of infants with congenital syphilis. CONCLUSIONS: Risk behaviors and low socioeconomic characteristics constituted 2 separate maternal profiles associated with congenital syphilis. Socioeconomic risk factors interfered more with prenatal care. To become more effective, the strategies for prevention of congenital syphilis should be targeted to each maternal profile.
Eleonor G Lago; Laura C Rodrigues; Renato M Fiori; Airton T Stein
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Sexually transmitted diseases     Volume:  31     ISSN:  0148-5717     ISO Abbreviation:  Sex Transm Dis     Publication Date:  2004 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-12-29     Completed Date:  2004-02-12     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7705941     Medline TA:  Sex Transm Dis     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  33-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Pediatrics, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul-PUCRS School of Medicine, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
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MeSH Terms
Brazil / epidemiology
Case-Control Studies
Infant, Newborn
Interviews as Topic
Medical Records
Retrospective Studies
Risk Factors
Socioeconomic Factors
Syphilis, Congenital / epidemiology*,  etiology,  prevention & control*,  transmission

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