Symptoms of Reproductive Tract Infections and Mental Distress among Women in Low-Income Urban Neighborhoods of Beirut, Lebanon

Marwan Khawaja, American University of Beirut
Afamia Kaddour, Harvard University
Huda Zurayk, American University of Beirut
Faysal El-Kak, American University of Beirut

To examine the association between symptoms of reproductive tract infections (RTIs) and mental distress among women residing in three low-income neighborhoods in Beirut. we used data from a survey of married women (N=1506) conducted in 2003. The dependent variables were: complaining of vaginal discharge, pelvic pain and problems during intercourse. The main independent variable was mental distress measured using the General Health Questionnaire-12. Other variables included: “comfort” with husband, age, education, income, and community, among other relevant variables. The analysis was conducted using logistic regression models on the complaint of any symptom of RTIs and on individual complaints. Forty-two percent of the interviewed women reported at least one symptom of RTIs. Mental distress was significantly associated with all reported RTI symptoms after adjusting for demographic, socioeconomic and health risk factors. A significant association between mental distress and reported RTI symptoms was established by this study.

  See paper

Presented in Session 116: Environmental Exposures, Social Context and Reproductive Health