What is the Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus Genotypes & Abnormal Pap Smears Among Women in the US Military Health System?

Research Paper Title

Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus Genotypes and Abnormal Pap Smears Among Women in the Military Health System.

Background

Human papillomavirus infection (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection among United States Military Servicemembers, and present in the majority of cervical cancers. Many of these infections are preventable, but HPV immunisation is not mandatory during military service.

The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence of vaccine-preventable cervical disease among women enrolled in the San Antonio Military Health System.

Methods

This is a retrospective cross-sectional study of Pap smear results and HPV genotyping data among Military Servicewomen and beneficiaries. Simple descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used to assess the association between demographics, cervical pathology and high-risk HPV (hrHPV) infection.

Results

Pap smears were obtained by 16.9% of women and cervical pathology was present in 28.8% of samples. Compared to the 25-34 year group, 35-44 year-olds were more likely to have an abnormal Pap smear (OR 1.25, CI 1.05-1.50). Of the samples tested, 10.5% were positive for hrHPV. Adjusted multivariable analysis revealed that hrHPV infection was more likely among the 23-34 year group when compared to 35-44 (OR 0.50, CI 0.38-0.67), 45-54 (0.40. CI 0.28-0.59) and 55-65 year groups (0.46, CI 0.30-0.71). Active Duty Servicewomen were more likely to test positive for hrHPV when compared to Active Duty Family Members (OR 0.59, CI 0.45-0.79) and Retiree Family Members (OR 0.59, CI 0.41-0.83).

Conclusions

Younger women and Active Duty Servicewomen are significantly more likely to have cervical infection with hrHPV. Future studies should assess the cost-effectiveness of mandatory HPV immunisation for military members.

Reference

Daly, C.M., Hansen, S.L., Kwon, P.O. & Roberts, T.A. (2017) Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus Genotypes and Abnormal Pap Smears Among Women in the Military Health System. Journal of Community Health. doi: 10.1007/s10900-017-0447-z. [Epub ahead of print].

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