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NJ Health Statistics
1997

Morbidity
Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The total number of cases of syphilis reported in New Jersey has declined annually since 1990 (Table C5). From 1996 to 1997, the reported incidence decreased by 294 cases, from 1,467 to 1,173 cases. Reported cases of primary and secondary syphilis, early latent, late and late latent, and congenital syphilis all declined from their 1996 levels (Martin, R.M., et. al., 1999). Table C12 provides a distribution by age group of reported cases of syphilis (by stage), gonorrhea, and chlamydia.

In 1997 the age groups with the highest reported rates of primary and secondary syphilis were persons 20 through 34 years (Communicable Disease Service, 1999b). Every county reported cases of syphilis in 1997 (Table C13). Crude syphilis incidence rates higher than the state rate were found in Essex, Camden, Union, Passaic, Hudson, and Hunterdon Counties, in order of decreasing rate. These six counties accounted for 927 cases or 79.0 percent of the total reported cases. Essex County alone accounted for 33.7 percent of all cases.

There were 7,566 cases of gonorrhea reported in 1997, a decrease of 1,154 cases or 13.2 percent from the 1996 incidence figure. The annual incidence of gonorrhea had decreased for more than a decade; the reported incidence in 1988 was about two times the number of cases reported in 1997, however the incidence had increased in 1996 and remains above the levels reported in 1992 through 1995 (Table C5). By county, the highest crude gonorrhea rates were found in Essex, Camden, Mercer, Cumberland, and Atlantic Counties, in descending order by rate (Table C13). These five counties were responsible for 65.5 percent of the total cases statewide. Essex County alone reported 2,8747 or 38.0 percent of the total. Nearly three-quarters of the cases of gonorrhea (72.6% or 5,495 cases) were reported among residents aged 15 through 29 (Table C12).

The numbers of reported cases and rates of chlamydia by age group can be found in Table C12 and the numbers and rates by county are provided in Table C13. Chlamydia incidence is heavily concentrated among the young: 84.4 percent of cases reported in 1997 were in persons 15 through 29 years of age. The highest rate was in 15 through 19 year olds. The highest incidence rates of chlamydia were in Essex and Camden Counties, which together accounted for 37.9 percent of total reported cases.

TABLE C5. INCIDENCE OF SYPHILIS BY STAGE AND GONORRHEA
NEW JERSEY, 1988-1997
YEAR SYPHILIS

GONORRHEA

TOTAL CASES* PRIMARY & SECONDARY EARLY LATENT
NUMBER RATE** NUMBER RATE** NUMBER RATE** NUMBER RATE**
1988 2,878 37.3 1,100 14.2 632 8.2 16,423 212.7
1989 3,361 43.5 1,516 19.6 810 10.5 14,174 183.5
1990 4,394 56.8 1,697 22.0 1,223 15.8 14,724 190.5
1991 3,765 48.6 1,093 14.1 913 11.8 10,489 135.3
1992 2,682 34.3 601 7.7 779 10.0 6,960 89.0
1993 2,642 33.6 328 4.2 582 7.4 6,456 82.1
1994 2,220 28.1 240 3.0 357 4.5 5,228 66.1
1995 1,518 19.1 188 2.4 293 3.7 5,741 72.3
1996 1,467 18.4 177 2.2 303 3.8 8,720 109.2
1997 1,173 14.6 150 1.9 236 2.9 7,566 94.0
*INCLUDES EVERY STAGE OF DISEASE
**RATES ARE COMPUTED PER 100,000 POPULATION
SOURCE: NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SENIOR SERVICESCOMMUNICABLE DISEASE SERVICE


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