Comparison of STI-related consultations among ethnic groups in the Netherlands: an epidemiologic study using electronic records from general practices

Petra J. Woestenberg, Aloysia A. M. van Oeffelen, Irina Stirbu-Wagner, Birgit H. B. van Benthem, Jan E. A. M. van Bergen, Ingrid V. F. van den Broek

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Currently, surveillance of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among ethnic minorities (EM) in the Netherlands is mainly performed using data from STI centers, while the general practitioner (GP) is the most important STI care provider. We determined the frequency of STI-related episodes at the general practice among EM, and compared this with the native Dutch population. Electronic medical records from 15-to 60-year-old patients registered in a general practice network from 2002 to 2011 were linked to the population registry, to obtain (parental) country of birth. Using diagnoses and prescription codes, we investigated the number of STI-related episodes per 100,000 patient years by ethnicity. Logistic regression analyses (crude and adjusted for gender, age, and degree of urbanization) were performed for 2011 to investigate differences between EM and native Dutch. The reporting rate of STI-related episodes increased from 2004 to 2011 among all ethnic groups, and was higher among EM than among native Dutch, except for Turkish EM. After adjustment for gender, age, and degree of urbanization, the reporting rate in 2011 was higher among Surinamese [Odds Ratio (OR) 1.99, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.70-2.33], Antillean/Aruban (OR 2.48, 95 % CI 2.04-3.01), and Western EM (OR 1.24, 95 % CI 1.11-1.39) compared with native Dutch, whereas it was lower among Turkish EM (OR 0.48, 95 % CI 0.37-0.61). Women consulted the GP relatively more frequently regarding STIs than men, except for Turkish and Moroccan women. Most EM consult their GP more often for STI care than native Dutch. However, it remains unclear whether this covers the need of EM groups at higher STI risk. As a first point of contact for care, GPs can play an important role in reaching EM for (proactive) STI/HIV testing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70
JournalBMC family practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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