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Am J Epidemiol. 1986 Jan;123(1):22-9.

Cigarette smoking and the risk of cervical neoplasia.


The relationship between cigarette smoking and risk of cervical neoplasia was evaluated in a case-control study of 183 women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia compared with 183 age-matched outpatient controls, and of 230 cases of invasive cervical cancer compared with 230 controls in hospital for acute conditions unrelated to any of the identified or suspected risk factors for cervical cancer. Current cigarette smoking was associated with an elevated risk of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (relative risk = 1.76, 95 per cent confidence interval = 1.14-2.27) and of invasive cancer (relative risk = 1.69, 95 per cent confidence interval = 1.08-2.65). This association was only partially accounted for by a large number of identified potential confounding factors, including indicators of socioeconomic status and sexual habits. The risk increased with the number of cigarettes smoked and was apparently greater for women who started smoking at younger ages. The relative risk of intraepithelial neoplasia was elevated within 20 years after the start of smoking and showed little tendency to increase with increasing duration. On the other hand, the risk of invasive cervical cancer was apparently unaffected by smoking less than 20 years and increased steadily thereafter, reaching a point estimate of 3.63 after 40 years or more. If one assumes that intraepithelial neoplasia is an early stage of cervical cancer, this pattern of risk is consistent with the predictions from the multistage theory of carcinogenesis, if the effect of smoking is on one of the earlier stages. No obvious distorting factors, apart from the play of chance, is likely to produce such a risk pattern.

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