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Intimate kissing quadruples meningitis risk in teenagers

A study says that french kissing with multiple partners quadruples the risk of meningitis in teenagers.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2006 13:01 IST

A new study has found that intimate kissing with multiple partners almost quadruples the risk of contacting meningitis in teenagers.

As a part of the study, researchers examined potential risk and protective factors in 15-19 year olds who had been admitted to hospital with meningococcal disease in six regions of England from January 1999 to June 2000.

Each case was compared with a matched control. Blood samples and nose and throat swabs were taken and data on potential risk factors were gathered by confidential interview.

According to the British Medical Journal, it was found that intimate kissing with multiple partners, a history of preceding illness, and being a student conferred higher risk of disease, whereas recent attendance at a religious event and meningococcal vaccination were associated with lower risk.

Meningococcal disease is a life threatening condition with two incidence peaks: in early childhood and in adolescence.

The study is published online by the BMJ.

First Published: Feb 11, 2006 11:50 IST