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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2012, Article ID 859071, 8 pages
Research Article

Epidemiologic Features of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis among Reproductive-Age Women in India

1Centre for Global Mental Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1 7HT, UK
2Division of Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
3Division of Infectious Diseases and Program in Global Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90035, USA
4Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA
5Public Health Research Institute of India, Mysore 570020, Karnataka, India
6Department of Epidemiology, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA

Received 20 June 2012; Revised 30 August 2012; Accepted 14 September 2012

Academic Editor: Charlene Dezzutti

Copyright © 2012 Sujit D. Rathod et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Vulvovaginal candidiasis is characterized by curd-like vaginal discharge and itching, and is associated with considerable health and economic costs. Materials and Methods. We examined the incidence, prevalence, and risk factors for vulvovaginal candidiasis among a cohort of 898 women in south India. Participants completed three study visits over six months, comprised of a structured interview and a pelvic examination. Results. The positive predictive values for diagnosis of vulvovaginal candidiasis using individual signs or symptoms were low (<19%). We did not find strong evidence for associations between sociodemographic characteristics and the prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis. Women clinically diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis had a higher prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis (Prevalence 12%, 95% CI 8.2, 15.8) compared to women assessed to be negative for bacterial vaginosis (Prevalence 6.5%, 95% 5.3, 7.6); however, differences in the prevalence of vulvovaginal candidiasis were not observed by the presence or absence of laboratory-confirmed bacterial vaginosis. Conclusions. For correct diagnosis of vulvovaginal candidiasis, laboratory confirmation of infection with Candida is necessary as well as assessment of whether the discharge has been caused by bacterial vaginosis. Studies are needed of women infected with Candida yeast species to determine the risk factors for yeast’s overgrowth.