Study: More than 20% of US adults have cancer-causing HPV

The prevalence of genital human papillomavirus among American adults aged 18 to 59 years from 2013 to 2014 was 42.5 percent, according to a new report released by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

HPV is the most ubiquitous sexually transmitted disease in the United States. While more than 90 percent of HPV infections subside after two years, some strains cause chronic infections, which can ultimately lead to cancers of the cervix, vagina, penis, throat and anus.

For the report, researchers conducted an analysis of health information compiled in the National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2011 to 2014. The survey included information on both oral and genital HPV. Data from 2011 to 2014 on genital HPV was available for women, but information for genital HPV in men was only available for 2013 to 2014, so findings on genital HPV referenced in the report for both genders are representative of only those two years.

Sign up for our FREE E-Weekly for more coverage like this sent to your inbox!

The prevalence of genital HPV among men (45.2 percent) was higher than HPV prevalence among women (39.9 percent). For high-risk, cancer-causing strains of genital HPV, the prevalence rate was 25.1 percent for men and 20.4 percent for women, making for an overall prevalence rate of 22.7 percent for the general population. These high-risk strains of the virus are responsible for 31,000 cases of cancer annually, according to The New York Times.

Analysis of 2011 to 2014 survey data revealed 7.3 percent of Americans aged 18 to 69 years were infected with oral HPV. During the same time period, 4 percent of Americans were infected with the oral strain of HPV that can cause cancers of the pharynx and mouth.

The authors state the findings of the report should engender a sense of urgency in the push to have adolescents vaccinated against HPV.

"If we can get 11- and 12-year-olds to get the vaccine, we'll make some progress," said Geraldine McQuillan, PhD, an epidemiologist at the CDC and the lead author of the report, according to the NYT. "By the time they're in their mid-20s, people are infected and it's too late. This is a vaccine against cancer — that's the message."

More articles on infection control: 
Surprise state inspection finds linen storage issue at UPMC Shadyside 
NIH branch names recipients for 2017 HIV research awards 
NIH researchers identify new treatment avenue for parasitic and bacterial infections

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars