Chlamydia Infection Related to Where You Live

A recent study claims that the neighbourhood where you live as a teen could increase the chances of you getting chlamydia as a young adult. This new longitudinal research was executed by Ford & Brown and published in the Journal of Urban Health. The two researchers also wanted to see whether this association between where you live as a teenager and whether you get chlamydia as a young adult, would be mediated by depression or sexual risk behaviour. However, they did not find this to be the case. This means that, according to the study, the association between where one lives as a teen and whether one gets chlamydia as an adult is not influenced by one’s sexual behaviour or an emerging depression.

In order to establish whether a neighbourhood could be classified as a ‘poor neighbourhood’ for the study, Ford & Brown assessed took into account four factors: total unemployment rate, proportion of households on public help, amount of households below poverty and quantity of female-headed households with children.

However, this study does not specify the ways in which living in a poor neighbourhood during your teenage years actually increases the risks of getting chlamydia in young adults. It could be argued that rather than looking at the neighbourhood status, the study could have taken into account the individuals’ education levels, their household financial status (additionally to their neighbourhood’s) and the neighbourhood’s medical facilities (including GUM clinics). This would shed a much brighter light to what is really causing chlamydia exposure. Since chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), factors such as the ones aforementioned should be taken into account fully, because they might pinpoint more exactly what leads someone to contract chlamydia. Some may argue, in fact, that neighbourhood’s status could be too general a characteristic to take into account in such a study. Further research should be considered in order to confirm this study’s findings, assessing both the validity and the reliability of the research.

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