Objectives: One of the two new human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines protects against HPV types 6 and 11, which cause over 95% of genital warts, in addition to protecting against HPV types 16 and 18. In anticipation of HPV vaccine implementation, we measured the impact of genital warts on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) to assess potential benefits of the quadrivalent over the bivalent vaccine.
Methods: Genitourinary medicine clinic patients' 18 years old with a current diagnosis of genital warts were eligible; 81 consented and were interviewed by a member of the research team. A generic HRQoL questionnaire the EQ-5D (comprising of EQ-5D index and EQ visual analogue scale (VAS) scores) and a disease-specific HRQoL instrument, the CECA10, were administered. Previously established UK population norms were used as a control group for EQ-5D comparisons.
Results: Cases (with genital warts) had lower EQ VAS and EQ-5D index scores than controls. After adjusting for age and sex a mean difference between cases and controls ≤30 years old (n=70) of 13.9 points (95%CI, 9.9 to 17.6, p<0.001) for the EQ VAS and 0.039 points (95%CI, 0.005 to 0.068, p=0.02) on the EQ-5D index was observed. The difference between cases and controls for the EQ VAS was especially notable in young females.
Conclusions: Genital warts are associated with a significant detriment to HRQoL. The potential added benefit of preventing most cases of genital warts by HPV vaccination
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