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Int J Cancer. 2003 Jan 20;103(3):413-21.

Prevalence of human papillomavirus infection in women in Busan, South Korea.

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Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Control, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Goyang, Korea.


To investigate the prevalence of and the risk factors for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in South Korea, we interviewed and examined a randomly selected sample of 863 sexually active women (age range = 20-74 years, median 44) and 103 self-reported virgins from Busan. The presence of DNA of 34 different HPV types in cervical exfoliated cells was tested among sexually active women by means of a PCR-based assay. IgG antibodies against L1 virus-like particles (anti-VLPs) of HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33 and 58 were also evaluated by means of ELISA. The overall prevalence of HPV DNA was 10.4% (95% confidence interval, CI: 8.5-12.7%). The most often found HPV DNA types were HPV 70, HPV 16 and HPV 33; 19.8% (95% CI: 17.2-22.0) of sexually active women had antibodies against one or more HPV types. The most common anti-VLPs were against HPV 18, 31 and 16. Prevalences standardized by age on the basis of the world standard population were 13.0% for HPV DNA and 17.1% for anti-VLPs. The concordance between the 2 HPV markers at an individual level was modest, but the risk factors for detection of HPV DNA and anti-VLPs were similar: number of lifetime sexual partners (odds ratio, OR for >/= 4 vs. 1 = 3.5 and 5.4, respectively), seropositivity for herpes simplex virus-2 antibodies (OR = 2.6 and 2.5, respectively) and being single or divorced. HPV DNA, but not anti-VLPs, were elevated among women whose husbands were thought by their wives to have extra-marital affairs and those who had undergone vasectomy. Among 103 virgins, 4.9% had anti-VLPs (1/73 among those aged 24 years or less).

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