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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Oct;22(10):1762-70. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0303. Epub 2013 Jul 19.

Racial differences in the incidence and clearance of human papilloma virus (HPV): the HPV in men (HIM) study.

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Authors' Affiliations: Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Center for Infection Research in Cancer (CIRC); Department of Biostatistics, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL; Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública; and Instituto Mexicano del Segurio Social, Cuernavaca, Mexico.



This analysis assessed the acquisition (incidence) and persistence (clearance) of human papilloma virus (HPV) infection by self-reported race among men in The HPV in Men (HIM) Study, a multinational prospective study of the natural history of genital HPV infections.


Self-reported race was categorized as White, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander (PI), or multiple and mixed race. Genital samples were combined for HPV DNA testing and categorized by any, oncogenic, and non-oncogenic HPV infections.


Asian/PI race had significantly the lowest incidence of any, oncogenic, and non-oncogenic HPV infection (P < 0.001). In multivariable analyses, Asian/PI race was associated with a lower probability of acquiring any [HR = 0.63; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.42-0.95] and non-oncogenic HPV infection (HR = 0.61; 95% CI, 0.40-0.93) when compared to Whites. No significant associations were evident for Asian/PI race for clearance. Multiple and mixed race was significantly associated with lower probability of acquiring non-oncogenic HPV infection (HR = 0.83; 95% CI, 0.69-0.99) and borderline significant associations were observed for any HPV (HR = 0.91) and oncogenic infections (HR = 0.92). Multiple and mixed race was associated with a lower probability of clearing any (HR = 0.92; 95% CI, 0.84-1.00) and oncogenic HPV infections (HR = 0.85; 95% CI, 0.75-0.95).


Asian/PI race had the lowest incidence of HPV and exhibited a lower probability of acquiring new HPV infections. Multiple and mixed race had the second lowest incidence of infection and was associated with a lower probability of acquiring and clearing an HPV infection.


Race-specific differences in HPV infection could be due to behavior, innate genetic differences, or circulating intratypic HPV variants.

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