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Human Papillomavirus infections among Japanese women: age-related prevalence and type specific risk for cervical cancer

Author(s): Onuki M, Matsumoto K, Satoh T


To obtain baseline data for human papillomavirus (HPV) screening and vaccination in Japan, we analyzed HPV DNA data from 2282 Japanese women (1517 normal cytology, 318 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia [CIN] grade 1, 307 CIN2-3, and 140 invasive cervical cancer [ICC]) that visited the University of Tsukuba Hospital or Ibaraki Seinan Medical Center Hospital for screening or treatment of cervical diseases between 1999 and 2007. An L1-based PCR method was used for individual HPV genotyping. The most common HPV types in ICC were, in order of decreasing prevalence, HPV16 (40.5%), HPV18 (24.4%), HPV52 (8.4%), HPV58 (3.1%), and HPV33 (3.1%). Based on the comparison of HPV type distributions between normal cytology and CIN2-3 and ICC, estimated risk of disease progression varied considerably by genotype: HPV16, HPV18, HPV31, HPV33, HPV35, HPV52, and HPV58 (prevalence ratio, 1.92; 95% confidence interval 1.58-2.34); other oncogenic types (0.31, 95% confidence interval 0.19-0.50); and non-oncogenic types (0.09, 95% confidence interval 0.03-0.43). HPV16 and/or HPV18, including coinfections with other types, contributed to 67.1% of ICC and 36.2% of CIN2-3 among Japanese women. More importantly, the overall prevalence of HPV16 and/or HPV18 varied greatly according to the women's age: highest in women aged 20-29 years (ICC, 90.0%; CIN2-3, 53.9%), decreasing with age thereafter, and lowest in women aged 60 years or older (ICC, 56.3%; CIN2-3, 25.0%). In conclusion, type-specific HPV testing may help identify Japanese women at high risk of progression to CIN2-3 and cancer. In Japan, current HPV vaccines are estimated to provide approximately 70% protection against ICC and may be more useful in reducing the incidence of cervical cancer and precancer in young women of reproductive age.

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