Results of a recent study that used sera and data from a sample representative of the US population found that 58 percent of the US population have had CMV infection (are CMV-IgG antibody-positive; Staras et al., 2006). Prevalence increased with age, ranging from 36 percent in 6- to 11-year-olds to 91 percent in subjects older than 80 years. Prevalence was higher among African Americans and Hispanics than among white non-Hispanics; it was also higher among females (63.5 percent) than males (54.1 percent). Low income and residence in the southern US were also associated with higher CMV prevalence. Numerous studies have found similar differences by racial/ethnic group and similar trends in age-related prevalence in convenience samples of blood donors, patient groups, hospital workers, and day-care workers. Comparison of results of sero-epidemiologic studies from diverse geographic areas shows that in general, CMV

infection is acquired more frequently and earlier in life in developing countries than in the developed nations of Europe and North America. CMV infection has been found in every human population that has been studied; among some indigenous peoples and populations from developing countries, infection levels reach 100 percent in childhood. In contrast, in the US and Europe initial CMV infection commonly occurs after childhood, and it is common for women to reach reproductive age prior to acquisition of CMV.

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