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      Survey of incidence, lifetime prevalence, and treatment of self-reported vulvovaginal candidiasis, United States, 2020


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          Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is a common gynecologic problem in the United States but estimates of its true incidence and prevalence are lacking. We estimated self-reported incidence and lifetime prevalence of healthcare provider-diagnosed VVC and recurrent VVC (RVVC), assessed treatment types, and evaluated demographic and health-related risk factors associated with VVC.


          An online survey sent to 4548 U.S. adults; data were weighted to be representative of the population. We conducted descriptive and bivariate analyses to examine demographic characteristics and health related factors associated with having VVC in the past year, lifetime prevalence of VVC, and over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription antifungal treatment use. We conducted multivariate analyses to assess features associated with 1) having VVC in the past year, 2) number of VVC episodes in the past year, and 3) lifetime prevalence of VVC.


          Among the subset of 1869 women respondents, 98 (5.2%) had VVC in the past year; of those, 5 (4.7%) had RVVC. Total, 991 (53%) women reported healthcare provider-diagnosed VVC in their lifetime. Overall, 72% of women with VVC in the past year reported prescription antifungal treatment use, 40% reported OTC antifungal treatment use, and 16% reported both. In multivariate analyses, odds of having VVC in the past year were highest for women with less than a high school education (aOR = 6.30, CI: 1.84–21.65), with a child/children under 18 years old (aOR = 3.14, CI: 1.58–6.25), with diabetes (aOR = 2.93, CI: 1.32–6.47), who were part of a couple (aOR = 2.86, CI: 1.42–5.78), and with more visits to a healthcare provider for any reason (aOR = 2.72, CI: 1.84–4.01). Similar factors were associated with increasing number of VVC episodes in the past year and with lifetime prevalence of VVC.


          VVC remains a common infection in the United States. Our analysis supports known clinical risk factors for VVC and suggests that antifungal treatment use is high, underscoring the need to ensure appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

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          Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Candidiasis: 2016 Update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

          It is important to realize that guidelines cannot always account for individual variation among patients. They are not intended to supplant physician judgment with respect to particular patients or special clinical situations. IDSA considers adherence to these guidelines to be voluntary, with the ultimate determination regarding their application to be made by the physician in the light of each patient's individual circumstances.
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            Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis.

            Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) is a common cause of significant morbidity in women in all strata of society affecting millions of women worldwide. Previously, RVVC occurrence was limited by onset of menopause but the widespread use of hormone replacement therapy has extended the at-risk period. Candida albicans remains the dominant species responsible for RVVC, however optimal management of RVVC requires species determination and effective treatment measures are best if species-specific. Considerable progress has been made in understanding risk factors that determine susceptibility to RVVC, particularly genetic factors, as well as new insights into normal vaginal defense immune mechanisms and their aberrations in RVVC. While effective control of RVVC is achievable with the use of fluconazole maintenance suppressive therapy, cure of RVVC remains elusive especially in this era of fluconazole drug resistance. Vaccine development remains a critical challenge and need.
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              Global burden of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: a systematic review

              Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis is a debilitating, long-term condition that can severely affect the quality of life of affected women. No estimates of the global prevalence or lifetime incidence of this disease have been reported. For this systematic review, we searched PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases for population-based studies published between 1985 and 2016 that reported on the prevalence of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis, defined as four or more episodes of the infection every year. We identified 489 unique articles, of which eight were included, consisting of 17 365 patients from 11 countries. We generated estimates of annual global prevalence, estimated lifetime incidence and economic loss due to recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis, and predicted the number of women at risk to 2030. Worldwide, recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis affects about 138 million women annually (range 103-172 million), with a global annual prevalence of 3871 per 100 000 women; 372 million women are affected by recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis over their lifetime. The 25-34 year age group has the highest prevalence (9%). By 2030, the population of women with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis each year is estimated to increase to almost 158 million, resulting in 20 240 664 extra cases with current trends using base case estimates in parallel with an estimated growth in females from 3·34 billion to 4·181 billion. In high-income countries, the economic burden from lost productivity could be up to US$14·39 billion annually. The high prevalence, substantial morbidity, and economic losses of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis require better solutions and improved quality of care for affected women.

                Author and article information

                BMC Womens Health
                BMC Womens Health
                BMC Women's Health
                BioMed Central (London )
                10 May 2022
                10 May 2022
                : 22
                GRID grid.416738.f, ISNI 0000 0001 2163 0069, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ; 1600 Clifton Road NE, Mailstop H24-9, Atlanta, GA 30329 USA
                © The Author(s) 2022

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

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                © The Author(s) 2022

                Obstetrics & Gynecology
                candidiasis, vulvovaginal,incidence,prevalence,antifungal agents,united states


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