Assessment of risk for pelvic inflammatory disease in an urban sexual health population

C. Marks, R. L. Tideman, C. S. Estcourt, G. Berry, A. Mindel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To determine the sexual and demographic risk factors for the acquisition of presumptive pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Methods: A retrospective, case-control study in women, who attended the Sydney Sexual Health Centre (SSHC), between April 1991 and December 1997. Logistic regression analysis was used to adjust for confounding variables.
Results: 741 women with PID and an equal number of controls were included. Cases were significantly younger than controls (p<0.001). 42% of cases were born in north or South East Asia, compared with 12% of the controls (p<0.001). The adjusted odds ratio for being born in north or South East Asia was 2.8 (95% CI 1.70-4.46), for not speaking English at home was 1.6 (95% CI 1.02-2.55), for having had previous PID was 5.9 (95% CI 3.59-9.73), and for being employed in the commercial sex industry and being born in north or South East Asia was 2.8 (95% CI 1.22-6.22). Women aged 15-19 were at considerable risk of developing PID (OR 5.3 (95% CI 2.76-10.11)). Women with previous human papillomavirus infection were significantly less likely to develop PID (OR 0.6 (95% CI 0.42-0.79)). The use of IUCDs (OR 4.5 (95% CI 2.14-9.39)), condoms (OR 1.4 (95% CI 1.03-1.87)), and not using contraception (OR 1.8 (95% CI 1.20-2.76)) was each associated with an increased risk.
Conclusions: Several measures may help to reduce the burden of PID. Women should be encouraged to delay the onset of sexual activity and IUCDs should not be used in young women. Sexual health services for women whose home language is not English, and for commercial sex workers born in north or South East Asia should be improved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-473
Number of pages4
JournalSexually Transmitted Infections
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Risk factors
  • Risk markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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