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Br J Cancer. 2004 Mar 8;90(5):1025-9.

A population-based study on the risk of cervical cancer and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia among grand multiparous women in Finland.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Oulu, PL 24, FIN-90029 OYS, Finland.


Previous studies suggest that high parity increases the risk of cervical cancer. We studied the risk of cervical cancer (CC) and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN3) in a Finnish cohort of grand multiparous (GM) women (at least five children) with low prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STI). The Finnish Cancer Registry data revealed 220 CC and 178 CIN3 cases among 86 978 GM women. Standardised incidence ratios (SIR) were calculated from the numbers of observed and expected cases. Interval analyses by parity, age at first birth and average birth interval were done using multivariate Poisson regression. Seroprevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 and Chlamydia trachomatis was tested among 561 GM women and 5703 women with 2-4 pregnancies. The incidence among GM women was slightly above the national average for squamous cell carcinoma of cervix uteri (SIR 1.21, 95% CI 1.05-1.40) and CIN3 (1.37, 95% CI 1.17-1.58), but lower for adenocarcinoma (SIR 0.77, 95% CI 0.52-1.10). The seroprevalence of HPV16 and Chlamydia trachomatis among GM women was lower than in the reference population, except among those women who had their child under age 19. Age under 20 years at first birth increased the risk of CC and CIN3 especially in premenopausal GM women, while increasing parity had no effect. The small relative risks of CC and CIN3 among GM women in our study as compared to studies from other countries can be explained by the exceptionally low prevalence of STIs in Finnish GM women. The observed SIRs between 1.2 and 1.4 should be interpreted to represent increased risk attributable to grand multiparity. The increased incidence of CC and CIN3 among young GM women suggests causal association to HPV 16 and Chlamydia trachomatis infections.

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