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Cancer Causes Control. 2003 May;14(4):319-26.

Effect of plasma micronutrients on clearance of oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) infection (United States).

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Arizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85724-5024, USA.



Data have suggested that higher levels of nutrients are protective against HPV persistence and cervical neoplasia. This study assessed the role of circulating nutrients on clearance of oncogenic HPV infections.


Women were followed prospectively with visits at baseline and approximately 4- and 10-months post-baseline. At each visit, 15 oncogenic HPV types were determined. Plasma levels were assessed at the 4-month visit for retinol, carotenoids (i.e., alpha-, trans-beta-, cis-beta-carotene, alpha-, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, trans- and cis-lycopene), tocopherols (i.e., alpha-, delta-, and gamma-tocopherol), folate and vitamin B12. Using multivariate Cox proportional hazards models, time to clearance analyses of oncogenic HPV infections were conducted for 84 women with at least one oncogenic infection at baseline. Hazard ratios (HR) were estimated for the association of HPV clearance to each nutrient tertile and to determine linear trends.


The likelihood of clearing an oncogenic HPV infection was significantly higher with increasing levels of trans-lycopene (p for trend, 0.025) and cis-lycopene (p for trend, 0.010). The adjusted hazard ratios of the highest tertiles of trans- and cis-lycopene were 2.79 (95% CI = 1.17-6.66) and 2.92 (95% CI = 1.28-6.63) compared with the lowest tertiles.


Higher concentrations of trans- and cis-lycopene may reduce the time to clearance of an oncogenic HPV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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