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Eur J Cancer Prev. 2007 Dec;16(6):555-8.

A case-control study of cancer of the uterine cervix in Uganda.

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  • 1Epidemiology and Genetics Unit, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK.


As part of an epidemiological study of cancer in Uganda, we investigated social, sexual and reproductive factors in relation to the risk of cancer of the uterine cervix. Patients with all cancer types or with benign tumours were recruited from hospitals in Kampala, Uganda, interviewed about various demographic and lifestyle factors and tested for antibodies against the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV). The case-control study reported here involves 702 HIV-seronegative women, 343 of whom were diagnosed with cancer of the uterine cervix. Key findings were that the risk of cervical cancer increased linearly with the number of pregnancies [chi2(1)=44.7; P<0.0001]; a woman reporting having had 10 or more children had a roughly seven-fold increase in risk of the tumour as compared with women reporting fewer than four pregnancies (odds ratio=7.1; 95% confidence interval 3.8-13.2). The risk also varied inversely with age at first reported sexual intercourse [chi2(1)=8.4; P=0.004], perhaps reflecting an earlier age of infection with human papillomavirus, the main causal agent. These results are in line with those reported from studies in other countries.

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