The Excess Burden of Cytomegalovirus in African American Communities: A Geospatial Analysis.
Background. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common cause of birth defects and hearing loss in infants and opportunistic infections in the immunocompromised. Previous studies have found higher CMV seroprevalence rates among minorities and among persons with lower socioeconomic status. No studies have investigated the geographic distribution of CMV and its relationship to age, race, and poverty in the community. Methods. We identified patients from 6 North Carolina counties who were tested in the Duke University Health System for CMV immunoglobulin G. We performed spatial statistical analyses to analyze the distributions of seropositive and seronegative individuals. Results. Of 1884 subjects, 90% were either white or African American. Cytomegalovirus seropositivity was significantly more common among African Americans (73% vs 42%; odds ratio, 3.31; 95% confidence interval, 2.7-4.1), and this disparity persisted across the life span. We identified clusters of high and low CMV odds, both of which were largely explained by race. Clusters of high CMV odds were found in communities with high proportions of African Americans. Conclusions. Cytomegalovirus seropositivity is geographically clustered, and its distribution is strongly determined by a community's racial composition. African American communities have high prevalence rates of CMV infection, and there may be a disparate burden of CMV-associated morbidity in these communities.
Lantos, PM; Permar, SR; Hoffman, K; Swamy, GK
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