Women and syphilis, 2015 to 2019

CCDR

Volume 46–10, October 1, 2020: Laboratory Biosafety

Infographic

Syphilis in Women and Congenital Syphilis in Canada, 2019

Infographic: Syphilis in Women and Congenital Syphilis in Canada, 2019

Text description: Infographic

In 2019, almost 2000 cases of infectious syphilis were reported among females in Canada.

Nearly one in every four syphilis cases is female

  • The proportion of female cases increased from 6% in 2015, to 24% in 2019

Females of reproductive age are most affected

  • From 2015 to 2019, the rates were highest in females aged 15–39 years

Congenital syphilis counts are the highest ever reported

  • In 2019, there were 45 confirmed cases and 25 probable casesFootnote * of congenital syphilis

Infectious syphilis rates in females and congenital syphilis rates (line chart)

  • This line chart displays on the vertical axis the rate of infectious syphilis in females (per 100,000 population) and the congenital syphilis rate (per 100,000 live births) in Canada. The calendar years for 2015 to 2019 are shown on the horizontal axis. Three lines are presented, showing the difference between the infectious syphilis rate in female – all ages, in females – 15–39 years old and the congenital rate of syphilis, from 2015 to 2019.
Table 1: Infectious syphilis rates in females and congenital syphilis rates (line chart)
Year Female rate – all ages Female rate – 15–39 years old Congenital rate
2015 1.0 2.6 1.3
2016 1.7 4.2 1.0
2017 2.4 6.1 1.9
2018 7.0 19.3 4.6
2019 10.3 28.0 11.6

Number of confirmed cases of congenital syphilis (bar chart)

  • This bar chart displays the number of confirmed cases of congenital syphilis along the vertical axis reported in Canada. The calendar years for 2015 to 2019 are shown on the horizontal axis.
Table 2: Number of confirmed cases of congenital syphilis (bar chart)
Year Number of congenital syphilis cases
2015 5
2016 4
2017 7
2018 17
2019 45

Risk factors for maternal and congenital syphilis in CanadaFootnote

Access to and use of prenatal care

  • Inadequate or none

Substance use

  • Alcohol, tobacco and methamphetamines

Socioeconomic status

  • Lower income

Geography

  • Rural and remote residence

Stigma

  • Historical trauma
  • Discrimination in healthcare

Preliminary 2018 and 2019 data were cordially shared by provinces and territories and are expected to differ slightly from final counts.

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