Objective In the Netherlands the incidence of cervical cancer is higher among ethnic minority populations compared with the general Dutch population. We investigated the prevalence of, and risk factors associated with, vaginal high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) infection in women of six different ethnicities living in Amsterdam.
Methods For this cross-sectional study we selected women aged 18–34 years old of six ethnicities from the large-scale multiethnic HEalthy LIfe in an Urban Setting study. Self-collected vaginal swabs were tested for HPV DNA and genotyped using a highly sensitive PCR and reverse line blot assay (short PCR fragment (SPF)10-PCR DNA enzyme immunoassay/LiPA25-system version-1, delft diagnostic laboratory (DDL)). Participants completed a questionnaire regarding demographics and sexual behaviour. Logistic regression using generalised estimating equations was used to assess risk factors of hrHPV, and to investigate whether prevalence of hrHPV differed among ethnicities.
Results The study population consisted of 592 women with a median age of 27 (IQR: 23–31) years. Dutch and African Surinamese women reported the highest sexual risk behaviour. HrHPV prevalence was highest in the Dutch (40%) followed by the African Surinamese (32%), Turkish (29%), Ghanaian (26%), Moroccan (26%) and South-Asian Surinamese (18%). When correcting for sexual risk behaviour, the odds to be hrHPV-positive were similar for all non-Dutch groups when compared with that of the Dutch group.
Conclusions We found an overall higher hrHPV prevalence and higher sexual risk behaviour in the native Dutch population. Further research is needed to unravel the complex problem concerning cervical cancer disparities, such as differences in participation in the cervical cancer screening programme, or differences in clearance and persistence of hrHPV.
- EPIDEMIOLOGY (GENERAL)