264337 High STI incidence in racial geographic isolates

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Daniel J. Kruger, PhD , School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Mark Valacak, MPH , Health Officer, Genesee County Health Department, Flint
Bettina Campbell, MSW , YOUR Center, Flint, MI
Emily Greenberg, BA , Health Behavior & Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are historically concentrated among racial and ethnic minority populations. In 2010 it was estimated that there were 19 million new cases of STI infection in the United States. Among these individuals, African Americans had substantially higher rates of both gonorrhea and chlamydia than Caucasians and made up almost half of all cases of syphilis that year.

Methods: We used Geographical Information Systems to map incidence of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in Flint, create maps of disease density, and aggregate incidence data at the Census block group level. We used linear regression models to predict the rate of STI incidence based on Block Group socio-demographics.

Results: The percent of the population that is African American and the percent of the population that is Caucasian provide the strongest predictors of STI incidence. Variation in the percent of a block group's population that is Caucasian alone accounts for 53.3% of the variation in STI incidence. Geographic isolation from other in-group members was related to higher STI incidence rates for both African Americans and Caucasians.

Conclusions: Because the highest incidences of STIs in African Americans occurred in areas with the lowest proportion of African Americans, and the same pattern was seen for Caucasians, interventions may be more effective by incorporating outreach to racial geographic isolates. Future studies should determine whether this trend replicates on a larger geographic scale and in other areas.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe traditional demographic predictors of STI incidence Recognize that racial minorities isolates from other group members may have higher STI risk Discuss why racial isolation may be a risk factor for STIs

Keywords: STD, Data/Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 15 years of experience in community health research.
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.