Prevalence of bacterial vaginosis and Candida among postmenopausal women in the United States

Joscelyn N. Hoffmann, Hannah M. You, E. C. Hedberg, Jeanne A. Jordan, Martha K. McClintock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Objectives: To describe the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis (BV) and Candida among community-dwelling postmenopausal women in the United States and determine their change with age, using estimates based on Waves 1 and 2 of the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP). Method: Self-administered vaginal swabs were collected in-home from women aged 57-85 (n = 1,016) in Wave 1 and again 5 years later in Wave 2 (n = 883). Gram-stained specimens were evaluated for BV using the Nugent score as well as presence of Candida. Results: BV was prevalent in 23% and 38% of postmenopausal women in Waves 1 and 2 and increased with age. Women initially categorized with BV in Wave 1 were more than 10 times as likely to be categorized with BV in Wave 2, relative risk ratio (RRR) = 10.5; 95% confidence interval (CI) (4.45-24.7); p <. 001, whereas women initially categorized as intermediate in Wave 1 were five times more likely to have a BV categorization, RRR = 5.0; 95% CI (2.56-9.75); p <. 001. Although the presence of Candida was similar in both waves (6% and 5%), its relationship with age only became evident in Wave 2, with odds of detecting Candida decreasing by 7% with each year of age, OR = 0.93, 95% CI (0.88, 0.98); p =. 010. Discussion: In Wave 2, the prevalence of BV was higher and increased with age while the prevalence of Candida was low and declined with age. A 5-year age increase contributed to the prevalence change across waves. Methods refinements in Wave 2 improved the detection of BV and Candida and clarified their relationship with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S205-S214
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Candida
  • Population
  • Postmenopause
  • Self-collection
  • Vaginal swab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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