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Candidiasis is increasingly affecting women in developing countries, due to several factors relating to environmental and physiological conditions of the individual. Knowledge of the factors influencing the epidemiology of Candida spp. will be useful in formulating public health measures targeted at reducing the incidence of Candidiasis. This study was therefore conducted to determine the prevalence of Candida albicans amongst women in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in order to decipher the epidemiology of Candida albicans in relation to age and gestation. A total of seventy (140) vaginal swab samples were collected from 70 pregnant and 70 non-pregnant women in Port Harcourt, and analyzed using standard microbiological methods. The result showed that 36% of the total women studied had Candida albicans while 64% were negative. In the overall analysis, the distribution of the yeast was 43% prevalent in pregnant and 29% in non-pregnant women. The risk of Candidiasis in pregnancy was evaluated using the Odds Ratio (OR) and was determined to be 1.88. Also, a paired sample t-test indicated a positive and strong statistical relationship between age distribution and the presence of Candida albicans in women, with a correlation coefficient of 0.911 (91.1%) (< 0.05), indicating a higher incidence among the older group, albeit lower in age groups close to menopause. The study concluded that the prevalence is higher in pregnant women, with a significant relationship with age. Regular screening of women for Candida spp. should be advocated and women should as well avoid conditions that dispose them to genital tract infections.
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