Dr. Karen Zouffle | 06/01/2021
Women carrying human papillomavirus (HPV) not only have an increased risk of cancer: the risk of premature birth from pregnancy also increases. This is the result of a Swedish study that evaluated data from more than one million births.
Among women who had a normal test for early detection of cervical cancer (evidence of HPV infection), the ratio of premature births was 4.6 percent. Among women suffering from HPV infection, 5.9 percent gave premature birth before the 37th week of pregnancy. If there were already cell changes in the cervix as a result of HPV infection, then premature births occurred 9.1 percent. The study was published in the journal “PLOS Medicine”.
From the results, researchers conclude that vaccination against HPV can not only prevent cancer, but is also beneficial for pregnancy. Johanna Vick from the University of Gothenburg said: “The risk of premature birth is lower for individual HPV carriers. But our results underscore that young people should be vaccinated against HPV.” Also told: “The sooner these abnormal cell changes are detected, the better we can follow and treat them.”
The study is based on data from the Swedish Birth Register, National Register for Cervical Cancer Prevention and Swedish Cancer Register. Between 1999 and 2016, 1,044,023 births were recorded. The HPV screening test immediately before or during pregnancy yielded positive results for 11,727 women.
What did I do 10.1371 / journal.pmed.1003641