In an investigation conducted in student health clinic patients, the polymerase chain reaction was used to detect human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA, thereby allowing measurement of the prevalence of HPV infection and study of the association between HPV infection and risk factors for cervical cancer. Of 159 women eligible to participate, 105 (66%) provided specimen of cervical cells for HPV typing, and also answered an interviewer‐administered questionnaire which sought information on risk factors for cervical cancer. Nucleic acid extracted from cervical cells was screened with primers for HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 33 and with an HPV Consensus primer. Overall, the prevalence of HPV infection was 18.1%, while for HPV‐6/11 it was 2.9% and for HPV‐16/18 it was 10.5%. There were statistically significant increases in risk of HPV infection with history of ever having smoked cigarettes (overall, and for HPV‐16 alone) and with a history of usually having sexual intercourse during menstrual periods (overall, but not for HPV‐16), and these associations were independent of the effects of age at first sexual intercourse and number of sexual partners. The latter 2 variables, as well as the total number of occasions of sexual intercourse, a history of anal intercourse, and a history of ever having used oral contraceptives, were not associated with statistically significant alterations in risk of HPV infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research