Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sexually Active Younger Women Are At Higher Risk For Infection With Human Papillomavirus

Date:
February 12, 1998
Source:
National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases
Summary:
Sexually active college-age women have a high incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection according to a study supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and reported in the Feb. 12, 1998 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Sexually active college-age women have a high incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection according to a study supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and reported in the Feb. 12, 1998 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

"Genital infection with HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, with its prevalence in young women ranging from 20 percent to 46 percent in different countries," says Study Director Robert D. Burk, M.D., of the Department of Pediatrics, Microbiology and Immunology, and the Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "The public health impact of this infection is compounded by the recognized causal relationship between genital infections with certain types of HPV and cell abnormalities of the cervix and cervical cancer."

"The incidence of HPV infection in sexually active young college women is alarming. Furthermore, we currently have no effective way to prevent infection. The need for topical microbicides and effective vaccines is urgent," says Penny Hitchcock, D.V.M., chief of the sexually transmitted diseases branch in NIAID's Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. "It is certainly reassuring that only a small number of women will develop cervical cell changes or cancer. However, until we have more precise diagnostic tests, it is important for young women to have regular Pap smears."

Through campus-wide advertisements at a state university in New Brunswick, N.J., the study team enrolled 608 young women. Their average age was 20 years, and the ethnic distribution was 57 percent white, 13 percent Hispanic, 12 percent black and 18 percent other. Twenty-six percent were diagnosed with HPV infection at the beginning of the study. Each of the women had pelvic examinations and Pap smears at the study outset and annually. For a maximum of three years, the women responded at six-month intervals to questionnaires on lifestyle and sexual behavior. At the same visits, samples of cells from the cervix and vagina were taken to ascertain whether or not HPV was present and to determine the type, or strain, of HPV. If the same type of HPV was present during two consecutive visits, the infection was defined as persistent. The average duration of HPV infection was eight months.

The cumulative incidence of HPV infection in the women who were HPV-negative at baseline was 43 percent. The investigators noted, however, that this incidence decreased with time: it was 20 percent in the first 12 months; 14 percent in the second 12 months; and only 9 percent in the final 12 months.

"The encouraging news," says Dr. Hitchcock, "is that this study suggests that the body's response to infection plays an important role in limiting persistence of the virus and disease progression. If this is mediated by the immune response, it could indicate that development of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines would play an important role in prevention and control."

Higher risk and incidence of HPV infection are associated with younger age, ethnic minority subgroups, increased frequency of alcohol consumption, anal sex or a high frequency of vaginal sex. A woman was less likely to have an HPV infection last for six months if it had been her first infection. The longer an infection endured from previous visits, the more likely it was to persist.

One of the consequences of HPV infection is the presence of various types of abnormal cells. One such type, squamous intraepithelial lesion, a potentially pre-cancerous condition, is caused by HPV infection of cervical cells, and is usually first detected as an abnormal Pap smear.

The authors caution that because of the six-month interval between medical visits, the study results may underestimate the incidence and overestimate the duration of HPV infection. They also warn that it is uncertain whether these data apply to older women.

In addition to Dr. Burk, collaborators included Gloria Y. F. Yo, Ph.D., and Chee J. Chang, Ph.D., both of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, N.Y.; and Robert Bierman, M.D., and Leah Beardsley, N.P., both of Rutgers University Student Health Service, New Brunswick, N.J.

NIAID, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), supports biomedical research to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, asthma and allergies. NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

###

Press releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available via the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. "Sexually Active Younger Women Are At Higher Risk For Infection With Human Papillomavirus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980212084131.htm>.
National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. (1998, February 12). Sexually Active Younger Women Are At Higher Risk For Infection With Human Papillomavirus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980212084131.htm
National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases. "Sexually Active Younger Women Are At Higher Risk For Infection With Human Papillomavirus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980212084131.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins