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Int J Cancer. 2007 Sep 15;121(6):1306-11.

Human papillomavirus infection in women in Shenzhen City, People's Republic of China, a population typical of recent Chinese urbanisation.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shenzhen Hospital of Beijing University, Shenzhen, China.


Select cancer registries report that cervical cancer is relatively rare in the People's Republic of China, but may not be representative of the entire country. We carried out a survey of human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence in 3 samples of women, i.e., general population, factory workers, and tertiary sector workers, in Shenzhen City in 2004. All participants were interviewed and offered gynaecological examination. HPV detection in exfoliated cervical cells was performed using a GP5+/6+ PCR-based assay. Overall HPV prevalence was 18.4% among the general population (n = 534), 11.2% among factory workers (n = 269) and 18.8% among tertiary sector workers (n = 224). Corresponding prevalence for high-risk HPV types was 13.5%, 8.2% and 13.8%, respectively. The most commonly found HPV types were HPV16, 52, 58, 31 and 39. HPV prevalence significantly increased with age in the general population, whereas it was highest below age 25 years in tertiary sector workers. Associations of HPV prevalence with indicators of sexual behaviour were stronger among tertiary sector workers than in the other samples of women. High HPV prevalence in all age groups and the appearance of a 'western-type' peak in HPV prevalence among young women employed in the tertiary sector raise important questions concerning the real cervical cancer burden, and its control, in urban China.

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