Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 92, Issue 6, pp 1065–1080 | Cite as

Trends in Inequalities in the Use of Condom by Urban Teenagers in Spain

  • Laia Alvarez-Bruned
  • Xavier Garcia-Continente
  • Mercè Gotsens
  • Anna Pérez
  • Gloria PérezEmail author


Social and economic inequalities in condom use by adolescents have been reported previously. Also, condom use has declined during the last decade. The aim of the study was to describe trends in the use of condoms in our setting, and how these trends may differ between socioeconomic groups in boys, and separately in girls, aged 17-19 years attending school in Barcelona between 2004 and 2012. We analyzed data from three annual surveys on risk factors in secondary students, which included a representative sample of the city’s population; individuals who had previously had sexual intercourse (n = 1570) were included in the study. We calculated adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) and their confidence intervals (95 % CI) using robust Poisson regression models. The prevalence of condom use among boys was 87.0 % in 2004 and 76.2 % in 2012, and 76.7 and 64.7 % among girls, respectively. This decrease was greater in adolescents with a low socioeconomic level, both in boys (aPR = 0.80) and girls (aPR = 0.84). The observed increase of socioeconomic inequalities in condom use in adolescents highlights a possible deterioration in good sexual practices and policies during the studied period.


Condoms Adolescent Socioeconomic factors Sexual behavior Contraception Trends 



We are grateful for the work done by the members of the SAMI service of the Barcelona Agency of Public Health and the education professionals in the schools of the city of Barcelona who take part in the surveys FRESC as well as all boys and girls who agreed to be interviewed.

We also thank Gail Craigie and Gavin Lucas for their help in editing the manuscript.


This study was partially funded by the Barcelona Agency of Public Health, Barcelona, Spain.

This study was used by Laia Alvarez-Bruned to obtain title of Master’s of Public Health by of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at the Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain.


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laia Alvarez-Bruned
    • 1
  • Xavier Garcia-Continente
    • 2
    • 4
  • Mercè Gotsens
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anna Pérez
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Gloria Pérez
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Health and Life SciencesUniversity Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Health Information System Service, Barcelona Agency of Public HealthBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.CIBER in Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP)MadridSpain
  4. 4.Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Sant Pau (IIB Sant Pau) (Institute of Biomedical Research)BarcelonaSpain

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