Review Article

Prevalence of Syphilis Infections among the Iranian Population: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


Background: Syphilis is one of the most important sexually transmitted infections (STI) and a public health problem, but the literature describing the true burden of syphilis is limited. In Iran, there are no accurate results on the prevalence of syphilis. This study aimed to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of syphilis in Iran.

Methods: Following PRISMA guidelines, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies published on the prevalence of Syphilis in Iran. We systematically reviewed the literature to identify eligible studies as of Sep 13, 2020, in international and national databases. The results are presented in the form of forest plots and tables. Pooled prevalence and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using Der Simonian and Laird method. Perform subgroup analysis through population, gender, city, and diagnostic tests to assess the source of heterogeneity.

Results: We reviewed 1,229 papers and reports, and extracted data from 15 eligible records. The prevalence of combined syphilis in Iran is 0.1% (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.1-0.1%). The prevalence of syphilis was 0.4% in men (95% confidence interval [95% CI] -0.3, 1%) and 0.6% in women (95% confidence interval [95% CI] (0.1, 1%)). The cumulative meta-analysis showed a decline in the prevalence of syphilis between the years 1999 and 2015.

Conclusion: The prevalence of syphilis in Iran is low. In the past few decades, the prevalence of syphilis across the country has declined. Syphilis infection is a small burden that needs to be revised in the implementation of high-cost screening programs.

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IssueVol 51 No 7 (2022) QRcode
SectionReview Article(s)
Sexually transmitted infection Syphilis Meta-analysis Iran

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Esmaeilzadeh F, Mohammadi M, Amjadipour A, Jafari A, Ghelichi-Ghojogh M, Khezri R, Rajabi A. Prevalence of Syphilis Infections among the Iranian Population: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Iran J Public Health. 2022;51(7):1513-1524.