Objectives. Population based-studies on Campylobacter infection have focused on age, gender, season and the level of urbanisation. The aim of this study was to determine the risk of infection in different ethnic groups resident in England.
Methods. Ethnicity-specific risk for Campylobacter infection were calculated using data on 6585 laboratory-confirmed cases from 18 health authorities in England.
Results. The Pakistani community was at greater risk of Campylobacter infection than the White community (Risk Ratio (RR) 1.71; exact 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.45–2.01). The Indian (RR 0.38; 95% CI 0.28–0.52) and Black (RR 0.30; 95% CI 0.21–0.44) communities were at lower risk than the White community. The risk in the Chinese community was no different from other ethnic groups (RR 1.21; 95% CI 0.74–1.98). Epidemiological differences between Pakistani and White cases were identified.
Conclusions. The epidemiology of Campylobacter infection in England differs according to ethnic origin, and some ethnic groups appear to be at greater risk of infection than others. This has important implications for the development of effective disease control strategies and the design of epidemiological studies. Failure to take ethnicity into consideration might mask important risk factors for infection and limit understanding of disease transmission processes, enhancing inequality of access to preventative measures.
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Accepted: May 3, 2003
© 2003 The British Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.