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Cancer Res. 2007 Jun 15;67(12):5987-96. Epub 2007 Jun 6.

Hawaii cohort study of serum micronutrient concentrations and clearance of incident oncogenic human papillomavirus infection of the cervix.

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  • 1Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, University of Hawaii, HI 96813, USA.


The degree to which the resolution of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection parallels exposure to other factors, particularly those related to nutritional status, is a relatively unexplored area of research. We established a cohort of women for long-term follow-up to examine the association of serum retinol, carotenoid, and tocopherol concentrations with the clearance of incident cervical HPV infection. Interviews and biological specimens were obtained at baseline and at 4-month intervals. At each visit, a cervical cell specimen for HPV DNA analysis and cytology and a fasting blood sample to measure micronutrient levels were collected. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to study the relationship between clearance of 189 incident (type-specific) oncogenic HPV infections and the levels of 20 serum micronutrients among 122 women. Higher circulating levels of trans-zeaxanthin, total trans-lutein/zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin (total and beta), total trans-lycopene and cis-lycopene, carotene (alpha, beta, and total), and total carotenoids were associated with a significant decrease in the clearance time of type-specific HPV infection, particularly during the early stages of infection (<or=120 days). HPV clearance time was also significantly shorter among women with the highest compared with the lowest serum levels of alpha-tocopherol and total-tocopherol, but significant trends in these associations were limited to infections lasting <or=120 days. Clearance of persistent HPV infection (lasting >120 days) was not significantly associated with circulating levels of carotenoids or tocopherols. Results from this investigation support an association of micronutrients with the rapid clearance of incident oncogenic HPV infection of the uterine cervix.

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