Is there an ethnic variation in the epidemiology of gonorrhoea? A retrospective population-based study from northern Israel over 15 years between 2001 and 2015

Khalaf Kridin, Rami Grifat, Mogher Khamaisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective To investigate the trends in the incidence of gonorrhoea through an extended period of time and to compare the epidemiology of gonorrhoea infection between 2 distinct ethnic groups (Jews and Arabs). Design A retrospective population-based cohort study was conducted on all consecutive patients diagnosed with gonorrhoea through the years 2001-2015. Setting National Department of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health, Haifa District, Israel. Participants A total of 837 reports on gonorrhoea were received, derived from 779 (93.1%) male and 58 (6.9%) female patients. Approximately 1 million people reside in the Haifa region. Primary and secondary outcome measures We examined the incidence rate of gonorrhoea among residents of Haifa District, northern Israel from 2001 to 2015, by reviewing archives of the Department of Epidemiology, Israeli Ministry of Health. Notified cases were stratified by age, gender and ethnicity. Results The overall gonorrhoea incidence was 6.4 cases per 100 000 population per year. The annual incidence rate dropped from 20.5 per 100 000 population in 2001 to a period of 2.2 cases per 100 000 population in 2005, showing a >9-fold decline. This was followed by a relatively steady increase of incidence of 2.5-4.5 per 100 000 population from 2006 to 2015. Men were predominantly more affected than women, with a 13.4-fold higher incidence rate. The most affected age group was residents between 25 and 34 years old. The estimated rate among Jews was 2.5-fold higher relative to Arabs. Only 1.3% recurrent episodes of gonorrhoea were reported. The prevalence of HIV positivity among patients with gonorrhoea is significantly higher than that of the general population (500.0 vs 88.1 cases per 100 000 population, respectively, p<0.001). Conclusions Gonorrhoea incidence rate decreased dramatically until 2005, with no substantial subsequent fluctuations. The infection is much more prevalent among patients of Jewish ethnicity, possibly due to riskier sex practices.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere014265
JournalBMJ Open
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 22 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

Keywords

  • Arabs
  • Gonorrhea
  • Haifa
  • Israel
  • Jews
  • Sexually transmitted diseases

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