Stephanie Si Liu1, Kelvin Yuen Kwong Chan1, Rebecca Ching Yu Leung1, Karen Kar Loen Chan1, Kar Fai Tam1, May Hiu Mei Luk5, Sue Seen Tsing Lo4, Daniel Yee Tak Fong3, Annie Nga Yin Cheung2, Zhong Qiu Lin5*, Hextan Yuen Sheung Ngan1*
Persistent high-risk type Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is recognized as a necessary cause of cervical cancer. This study aimed to compare the HPV prevalence and risk factors between women residing in Hong Kong (HK) and Guangzhou (GZ) region of China.
A total of 1,570 and 1,369 women were recruited from HK and GZ, respectively. The cytology samples were collected and tested for HPV infection. The overall and type-specific HPV prevalence and the potential risk factors for acquisition of HPV infection were studied. Women with normal cytology in the GZ cohort had significantly higher HPV prevalence (10%) than those in the HK cohort (6.2%, p<0.001). The patterns of the age-specific HPV prevalence were also different between the two cohorts. In the HK cohort, women at the age of 20–29 years old had the highest prevalence and a second peak was observed in the age of ≥60 years old. In the GZ cohort, the highest HPV prevalence was also observed in 20–29 years old but declined as the age increased and a second peak was not seen. HPV16 and HPV52 were the most common high-risk types found in the HK and GZ cohorts, respectively. Age was the most consistently observed independent risk factor for HPV infection in the HK, while the number of sexual partners had association in the GZ cohort.
Our study provides the current status and the epidemiological characteristics of HPV prevalence in Southern Chinese women. The results strongly suggested that population education and the effective cervical cancer screening would be vital in the prevention of cervical cancer.