200928 Mild to moderate mental illness and sexually transmitted diseases

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Elizabeth A. Courtney-Long, MA, MSPH , SAIC contractor for NCBDDD/DHDD/Disability and Health Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Melissa Danielson, MSPH , Child Development Studies Team, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Brian S. Armour, PhD , NCBDDD/DHDD/Disability and Health Team, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Background: Severe mental illness (SMI) has been associated with an increased risk of having a sexually transmitted disease (STD), due to risk factors that include substance abuse and increased risk of sexual violence. As a result, STD prevention programs are targeted toward those with SMI. While people with mild to moderate mental illness (MMMI) are also at higher risk for sexual violence, limited information is available on MMMI and STDs. Therefore, we analyzed national survey data to determine the prevalence of STDs among those with MMMI.

Methods: Data from the 2003-2007 NHIS were analyzed to determine the association between STDs and MMMI. The Kessler psychological distress scale (K6) was used to identify individuals with probable MMMI and SMI based on level of psychological distress. Multivariate analysis was used to assess the association between STDs and MMMI.

Results: People with MMMI have a higher prevalence of STDs (4.8%) than people without probable mental illness (1.9%), but lower than those with SMI (6.7%). In multivariate analysis controlling for demographics and risk factors such as drinking and smoking status, the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of having an STD for a respondent with MMMI was 1.6 (95% CI 1.4, 2.0), while the aOR of a respondent with SMI having an STD was 1.7 (95% CI 1.3, 2.3), both compared to respondents without probable mental illness.

Conclusions: People with MMMI were found to be at a similarly increased risk of having an STD as those with SMI and therefore could benefit from STD prevention programs.

Learning Objectives:
Identify the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases among people with MMMI. Assess factors associated with the higher prevalence of STD among those with MMMI.

Keywords: Mental Health, STD

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated in interpretation of the data analysis and background review
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.