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Depression associated with sexually transmitted infection in Canada
  1. Y Chen1,
  2. J Wu2,
  3. Q Yi1,
  4. G Huang1,
  5. T Wong2
  1. 1
    Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2
    Centre for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  1. Dr Y Chen, Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1H 8M5; ychen{at}


Objective: This study was conducted to determine the association between sexually transmitted infection (STI) and the prevalence of depression among the general Canadian population.

Methods: The analysis was based on data from the Canadian Community Health Survey conducted in 2003 and included 21 560 participants aged 15–49 years. A logistic regression model was used to examine the association between depression and STI history after taking confounding factors (gender, age, marital status, household size, income, education, immigrant status, alcohol use, smoking status and number of chronic diseases) and effect modifiers into consideration.

Results: Of the study subjects, 5.3% reported having a history of STI and 7.9% had depression. STI history was significantly associated with depression, with an odds ratio of 1.5 (95% CI 1.1 to 2.2) for men and 1.8 (95% CI 1.4 to 2.3) for women. The association was significant in men younger than 35 years but was not significant in older men. The association tended to be stronger in men who had a high level of income. The association between STI and depression was relatively consistent among female subpopulations.

Conclusion: There is a significant association of depression with STI. Health professionals should be aware that groups of STI patients are more likely to have depression and deal with it accordingly.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: This study used the publicly released data file only. The original survey was approved by Statistics Canada ethics committee.

  • Contributors: YC, JW and QY contributed to the conception and design of the study. QY performed the statistical analysis. YC prepared the first draft and all authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript.