A risk factor is something that increases your chances of getting a disease or condition.
Chlamydia is far more common in women than in men. The risk is highest among adolescents and young adults (generally up to age 25), who are more likely to take risks with their sexual behavior. African Americans have a higher prevalence of chlamydia than Caucasians. Other high-risk groups include American Indians, Native Alaskans, and Hispanics.
Chlamydia can't be seen, so you can't tell if someone has it. Since most people are unaware they are infected, chlamydia can get transmitted from person to person without your knowledge.
Other factors that may increase your chance of chlamydia include:
Another risk factor for women is cervical ectropion, a condition where cells from inside the cervix are on the outside. Although it usually doesn't cause problems, it can make you more susceptible to infection.
Chlamydia—CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/STDFact-chlamydia-detailed.htm. Updated January 7, 2014. Accessed July 30, 2014.
Chlamydia genital infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 30, 2014. Accessed July 30, 2014.
Mishori R, McClaskey, EL, et al. Chlamydia trachomatis infections: Screening, diagnosis, and management. Am Fam Physician. 2012;86(12):1127-1132.
Workowski KA, Berman S, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010. MMWR. 2010;59(No. RR-12):1-110.
Last reviewed March 2015 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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