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Int J Epidemiol. 1994 Aug;23(4):682-90.

Is Trichomonas vaginalis a cause of cervical neoplasia? Results from a combined analysis of 24 studies.

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Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021.



We conducted this combined analysis of available data from studies with information on this issue to clarify the association between Trichomonas vaginalis infection and cervical neoplasia.


We performed MEDLINE searches (1966-1993) using the key words and phrases 'trichomonas vaginitis' and 'neoplasms, cervix' for articles published in English, and searched citations of the articles obtained from MEDLINE: A total of 24 articles (two cohort studies and 22 case-control) were included in this data analysis. In the analysis, the studies were evaluated for heterogeneity using Breslow-Day tests for homogeneity of the odds ratios and of rate ratios. If the odds ratios from studies are heterogeneous, it is not appropriate to combine them using the Mantel-Haenszel method. Also, publication bias was evaluated by assessing the association between the observed effect size and the variance of the effect size using a rank correlation test.


The combined summary relative risk for the two cohort studies was 1.93 (95% confidence interval: 1.22-2.65) indicating an approximate doubling of the risk of cervical neoplasia in the presence of T. vaginalis infection. The attributable risks among exposed subjects and among the source population were 47.4% and 2.1% respectively. Results of the 22 retrospective studies were much less consistent. However, most of them demonstrated a significant positive association.


This combined analysis suggests that there is an association between T. vaginalis and the risk of cervical neoplasia, but that such infections account for only 2% of cervical neoplasia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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