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Ann Epidemiol. 2000 Oct 1;10(7):465-466.

Use of hormone replacement therapy (Hrt) And detection of human papillomavirus (Hpv) Dna in postmenopausal women.

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Department of Epidemiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA


PURPOSE: This study investigated the association between detection of HPV DNA among current and past HRT users compared to never HRT users, duration of HRT use, and type of HRT (estrogen, estrogen/progestin).METHODS: Postmenopausal women (n = 390) were recruited from a university hospital and completed a questionnaire regarding 1) HRT use, duration, and type, 2) reproductive and sexual history, 3) smoking and alcohol use, and 4) HPV-related diseases. Cervical specimens were obtained for Pap smears, and for the presence of HPV using PCR/dot blot and DNA sequencing, and Southern blot or SSCP. Age-adjusted odds ratios (OR), 95% confidence intervals (CI), and logistic regression examined the association between HRT use and risk of HPV detection.RESULTS: The frequency of HPV was 10%, with 2.8% oncogenic types. Compared to Never Users, Current (adj. OR = 1.50, 95% CI = 0.55, 4.07) and Past (OR = 1.96, CI = 0.56, 6.86) HRT users had an elevated risk of HPV detection. Although HRT duration among Current Users was not statistically significant (OR = 1.01, 95% CI = 0.95, 1.07), duration among Past Users was significantly associated with an increased risk of HPV detection (OR = 1.30, CI = 1.06, 1.61). In addition, Past Users of estrogen/cyclic progestin HRT regimens were significantly more likely to be detected with HPV (OR = 1.82, CI = 1.11, 2.97) compared to Never Users.CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that risk of HPV detection is increased among users of HRTs, particularly among Past Users associated with longer duration and among those taking HRT regimens that included a progestin. Results suggest a latency or duration effect may be important in elevating the risk. They also support previous in vitro studies of progestin effects on HPV gene regulation.

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