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    Teen Girls' Chlamydia Drives STD Rate Up

    Memphis Tops Cities, Miss. Tops States With Highest Chlamydia Rates
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    Nov. 16, 2009 - Teen girls and young women have the highest rates of chlamydia, the sexually transmitted disease that's exploding across the U.S.

    More than 1.2 million cases have been officially reported, the largest number of cases for any of the diseases that must be reported to the CDC.

    Because chlamydia infections usually don't cause symptoms until they result in pelvic inflammatory disease, many cases remain undetected and hence unreported. Sexually active girls and women under age 26 should be screened for chlamydia every year, but only 41.6% of eligible women enrolled in Medicaid or private health plans do so.

    Chlamydia rates are three times higher in women than in men and eight times higher in African-Americans than in whites.

    Left untreated, some 10% to 20% of chlamydia infections cause pelvic inflammatory disease. That can lead to long-lasting pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility. Every year, the CDC estimates, chlamydia and other STDs leave at least 24,000 U.S. women unable to bear children.

    Girls ages 15 to 19 have the highest chlamydia rate: 3,276 cases per 100,000 females. The rate is only a little lower in women ages 20 to 24: 3,180 cases per 100,000 females.

    Overall, chlamydia rates went up 9.2% from 2007 to 2008, the most recent year for which there is data. Some of the increase is due to increased screening, but the CDC suspects that much of the increase reflects a rising number of new infections.

    Chlamydia rates ranged from state to state, with rates highest in Mississippi and Alaska (each with more than 700 cases per 100,000 population) and lowest in New Hampshire, West Virginia, Vermont, and Maine (each with under 200 cases per 100,000 population.

    However, 57% of chlamydia cases are in cities. Here's the ranking, by chlamydia rate, of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.:

    Metropolitan Statistical Area

    2008 Cases

    2008 Rate
    per 100,000

    Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark.

    9,199

    1,385.9

    Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C.

    8,789

    1,036.3

    Birmingham-Hoover, Ala.

    4,948

    862.6

    Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich.

    18,826

    824.1

    Jacksonville, Fla.

    5,392

    810.8

    Richmond, Va.

    4,981

    797.8

    Baltimore-Towson, Md.

    10,774

    779.4

    Austin-Round Rock, TX

    5,933

    760.4

    Indianapolis, IN

    6,352

    736.9

    Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN

    8,031

    735.7

    San Antonio, TX

    7,206

    709.7

    Kansas City, MO-KS

    7,115

    703.7

    St. Louis, MO-IL

    10,166

    702.3

    Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Tonawanda, NY

    4,076

    697.6

    New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA

    3,722

    694.3

    San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif.

    10,257

    692.7

    Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-NJ-DE-MD

    20,708

    687.8

    Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Ill.-Ind-Wis.

    33,220

    687.3

    Oklahoma City, Okl.

    4,119

    681.3

    Rochester, N..Y

    3,594

    680.9

    Columbus, Ohio

    6,027

    678.5

    Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

    20,125

    658.5

    Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC

    5,469

    649.6

    Las Vegas-Paradise, NV

    5,842

    647.7

    Denver-Aurora, CO

    7,824

    637.6

    Houston-Baytown-Sugar Land, TX

    17,287

    615.4

    U.S. MSA TOTAL

    501,750

    607.0

    Orlando, FL

    6,160

    600.9

    Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH

    6,487

    595.9

    Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA

    38,100

    587.7

    New York-Newark-Edison, NY-NJ-PA

    56,829

    584.9

    Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

    8,099

    579.4

    Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT

    3,474

    569.4

    Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA

    5,997

    564.5

    Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA

    14,898

    557.9

    Louisville, Ky.-Ind.

    3,504

    554.3

    Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

    14,967

    550.7

    San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif.

    11,514

    544.5

    Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.

    10,725

    518.3

    Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro, Tenn.

    3,916

    507.5

    Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.

    10,009

    490.9

    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.

    7,975

    481.2

    San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.

    4,218

    478.8

    Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, Fla.

    13,144

    472.6

    Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis.

    7,037

    436.5

    Salt Lake City, Utah

    2,254

    417.0

    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    5,092

    416.6

    Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, Ore.-Wash.

    4,468

    409.6

    Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, R.I-.Mass.

    3,327

    402.3

    Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H.

    8,458

    367.2

    Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis.

    1,116

    141.3

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