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Research Article

Prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis infection in women having cervical smear tests.

BMJ 1991; 302 doi: (Published 12 January 1991) Cite this as: BMJ 1991;302:82
  1. J. R. Smith,
  2. J. Murdoch,
  3. D. Carrington,
  4. C. E. Frew,
  5. A. J. Dougall,
  6. H. MacKinnon,
  7. D. Baillie,
  8. D. M. Byford,
  9. C. A. Forrest,
  10. J. A. Davis
  1. Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow.


    OBJECTIVE--To determine the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases in patients with normal and abnormal cervical smears. DESIGN--A prospective study of asymptomatic women with normal cervical smears attending their general practitioner and newly referred patients with abnormal smears attending a colposcopy clinic. SETTING--A hospital based colposcopy clinic and an urban general practice (list size 5500) in north west Glasgow. SUBJECTS--197 asymptomatic women attending their general practitioner for cervical smear tests and 101 randomly selected patients attending the colposcopy clinic for investigation of abnormal smears. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Presence of various sexually transmitted infections as determined by culture and serological tests. RESULTS--Of the 101 women with cytological abnormalities, six had current chlamydial infection proved by culture and none had gonococcal infection; of the 197 women with normal smears, 24 (12%) had a chlamydial infection and two had gonorrhoea. Serological studies for Chlamydia trachomatis specific antibody also indicated that a large proportion of patients had been exposed to this agent in both groups. There was no significant difference between the groups in the prevalence of any sexually transmitted disease studied. CONCLUSION--A high prevalence of chlamydial infection is present in women in north west Glasgow irrespective of their cervical cytological state.