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Nutrition. 2003 Jun;19(6):497-502.

Folate, vitamin B12, and homocysteine status. findings of no relation between human papillomavirus persistence and cervical dysplasia.

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Arizona Cancer Center, 1515 N. Campbell Avenue, Room 4977 C, Phoenix, AZ 85724-5024, USA.



Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are the cause of most, if not all, cervical cancers. Women consistently positive for oncogenic type HPV infections have a greater risk of developing cervical dysplasia compared with women transiently infected. HPV infection alone appears to be insufficient to produce disease, suggesting that other cofactors may be needed. Folate, vitamin B12, and homocysteine, through their role in DNA methylation, may be involved in cervical neoplasia.


This study examined the associations between HPV persistence and circulating folate, vitamin B12, and homocysteine levels among 91 low-income Hispanic women. Further, the relation of these nutrients to cervical pathology was evaluated. HPV status was determined at two visits approximately 3 mo apart.


Adjusted mean circulating concentrations of folate, vitamin B12, and homocysteine were not statistically different between women with two positive HPV tests, one positive test, or two negative HPV tests. No association was observed between tertiles of folate, vitamin B12, or homocysteine and HPV persistence risk. Further, adjusted mean levels of these nutrients were not statistically different between cytologic grades.


Results from this small study did not support a role for folate, vitamin B12, or homocysteine in HPV persistence or cervical dysplasia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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