Advertisement

HPV Prevalence in U.S. Women

Summary and Comment |
March 8, 2007

HPV Prevalence in U.S. Women

  1. Thomas L. Schwenk, MD

Overall prevalence is higher than previously estimated, but types covered by the new vaccine are relatively uncommon.

  1. Thomas L. Schwenk, MD

The prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) among U.S. women is of particular interest, given the recent availability of an HPV vaccine. Government investigators used data from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to study HPV prevalence in women 14 to 59 years old. Self-collected vaginal swabs were analyzed by PCR; up to 37 HPV types were identified.

Among 1921 usable specimens, 27% were positive for HPV. The prevalence peaked at 45% in women 20 to 24 years old (34% for ages 14 to 24) and declined to 20% in women ages 50 to 59. For the four HPV types covered by the vaccine, prevalences were 1.3% for type 6, 0.1% for type 11, 1.5% for type 16, and 0.8% for type 18 (the latter two types are considered responsible for about 70% of cases of cervical cancer). HPV prevalence among women who reported never having had sex was 5%.

Comment

Although the overall prevalence of HPV in this study is higher than previously found, the prevalence of the types covered by the new vaccine (3.4% overall) is lower than expected. This lower prevalence may change current cost-effectiveness calculations for the new vaccine, but editorialists think it “unlikely that a reanalysis would change the conclusion that universal immunization is cost-effective.” In any case, these data establish a baseline against which to measure the effect of the vaccine on future HPV prevalence.

Citation(s):

Your Comment

(will not be published)

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Do you have any conflict of interest to disclose?
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Vertical Tabs

* Required

Reader comments are intended to encourage lively discussion of clinical topics with your peers in the medical community. We ask that you keep your remarks to a reasonable length, and we reserve the right to withhold publication of remarks that do not meet this standard.

PRIVACY: We will not use your email address, submitted for a comment, for any other purpose nor sell, rent, or share your e-mail address with any third parties. Please see our Privacy Policy.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement