Background: Studies have shown a dose-response relationship between cigarette smoking and bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is associated with increased Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) acquisition risk; however, few studies have examined dose-response relationships between cigarette smoking and TV. The objective was to examine dose-response relationships between cigarette smoking and TV acquisition among African American adolescent females.
Methods: At baseline, 6, 12 and 18 months, African American females 14-20 years (n=701) enrolled in an HIV prevention trial completed audio computer-assisted self-interviews and provided self-collected vaginal swab specimens assayed for TV. Participants were categorized as light (1-3), moderate (4-5) or heavy (≥6) smokers based on self-reported number of cigarettes smoked per day and as short- (<1 year), medium- (1-2 years) and long-term (≥3 years) smokers. Generalized estimating equations examined associations between TV acquisition, defined as a positive test result subsequent to a negative result or documented treatment, and amount and duration of cigarette smoking relative to non-smokers.
Results: Of 605 (86.3%) participants completing ≥1 follow-up assessment, 20.0% (n=121) acquired TV. Smoking prevalence during follow-up was 12.9-14.1%. The likelihood of TV acquisition was marginally increased among light (OR: 2.1, 95% CI: 1.0, 4.5) and significantly increased among moderate (OR: 3.0, 95% CI: 1.6, 5.5) and heavy (OR: 3.2, 95% CI: 1.8, 5.8) smokers (test for trend p<0.001). The likelihood of TV acquisition was also marginally increased among short-term (OR: 1.8, 95% CI: 0.9, 3.6) and significantly increased among medium- (OR: 3.2, 95% CI: 1.5, 6.7) and long- (OR: 3.7, 95% CI: 2.1, 6.5) term smokers (test for trend p<0.001). Tests for trend remained significant (p<0.05) after adjusting for known correlates of TV acquisition in this sample.
Conclusions: Dose-response relationships were observed between self-reported measures of cigarette smoking and TV acquisition. Future research should investigate mechanisms through which cigarette smoking may be associated with TV acquisition.