Trends and Characteristics in Maternal Syphilis Rates During pregnancy: United States, 2016-2022
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Trends and Characteristics in Maternal Syphilis Rates During pregnancy: United States, 2016-2022

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      After reaching historic lows in 2000 and 2001, rates of primary and secondary syphilis in the overall U.S. population have increased nearly every year through 2022 (1). For 2017–2022, rates of syphilis for women of reproductive age and congenital syphilis (a disease that occurs when a mother with syphilis passes the infection on to her baby during pregnancy) increased by more than 250% (1,2). Congenital syphilis can cause adverse pregnancy outcomes such as fetal and neonatal death, low birthweight, preterm birth, and brain and nerve disorders (2). This report presents trends in maternal syphilis rates in women giving birth in the United States for 2016–2022 by selected maternal demographic and health factors.

      Key findings: Data from the National Vital Statistics System

      ● The overall rate of syphilis in mothers giving birth in the United States more than tripled from 2016 to 2022, rising from 87.2 to 280.4 per 100,000 births.

      ● The syphilis rate increased for all maternal race and Hispanic-origin groups from 2016 through 2022; the largest increase was for American Indian and Alaska Native non-Hispanic mothers (from 159.7 to 1,410.5 per 100,000 births).

      ● The syphilis rate increased for all maternal age groups from 2016 through 2022, with the largest increase for mothers younger than age 20 (from 107.3 to 418.6 per 100,000 births).

      ● For 2016–2022, the syphilis rate increased for all prenatal care categories.

      ● The syphilis rate increased from 2016–2017 to 2021–2022 in 47 states and the District of Columbia.

      Suggested citation: Gregory ECW, Ely DM. Trends and characteristics in maternal syphilis rates during pregnancy: United States, 2016–2022. NCHS Data Brief, no 496. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2024. DOI:


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