Study reveals high infection rate in teens for virus linked to cervical cancer
Based on 60 study participants from three primary-care clinics in Indianapolis HPV rates reported in previous research have been underestimated. The latest study indicates four out of five sexually active adolescent females are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Researchers have concluded that the high HPV infection rate in sexually active adolescent females for is linked to the onset of to cervical cancer in later life.
Statistical break down of the 60 Study Participants
Age of Study participants — 14 to 17
95% of the participants were sexually active
Median number of sexual partners — 2
85% were African American
11% were Caucasian
3% were Hispanic.
Quarterly visits to a primary-care clinic for a cervical swab test 5 three-month diary collection periods (self recorded daily sexual activity) Self-performed, weekly vaginal swabbing
Average Participation in study — 2-years
Total swab specimens collected and analyzed for HPV infection — 2,100
49 of 60 study participants tested positive for HPV infection (82% prevalence rate)
HPV-positive study participants were infected with not just one, but also multiple, HPV types.
Mean number of HPV types per participant — 5
Number of those HPV types associated with an increased risk for cervical cancer:
39 % of the swab specimens were classified as high-risk types
20 % as low-risk
37% of study participants had at least one abnormal result for cervical examination during the study period.
“Brown and colleagues hypothesized that relative to earlier research, the high cumulative prevalence of HPV infection in their study was primarily a result of the high number of swab specimens obtained from each study participant. Many infections were detectable for only a few weeks and might have been missed had specimens been obtained at longer intervals of time.
They also attributed the high prevalence to their use of a test that detects more HPV types than some other tests do, and to the at-risk nature of this particular study population.” (2)
(1) Jan. 15 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases
Research report, Dr. Darron Brown and colleagues at the IU School of Medicine
(2) Indiana University
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Publication Date: March 11, 2005