The prevalence of oral human papillomavirus is nearly three times higher in men than in women, according to data from more than 5,000 individuals in the United States.
The findings were simultaneously published online in JAMA and presented at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium in Phoenix on Jan. 26 (JAMA 2012;307: [doi: 10.1001/jama.2012/101]). [...]
The researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of HPV infection as part the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for 2009-2010. The study population included 5,579 men and women aged 14-69 years who were tested for HPV at mobile centers.
Overall, the prevalence of any HPV infection was 6.9%, and the prevalence of HPV type 16 (the type associated with OSCC) was 1%. The prevalence of any HPV infection was significantly higher in men than in women (10.1% vs. 3.6%, P less than .001). The peak prevalence of oral HPV occurred in people aged 30-34 years (7.3%) and 60-64 years (11.4%).
Infection in either gender was significantly more common in those with a history of any sexual contact (7.5%), compared with those who had no history of sexual contact (0.9%). The risk of infection also increased significantly as the number of sex partners for any type of sex increased. [...]
"Our data provide evidence that oral HPV infection is predominantly sexually transmitted," the researchers said. Although HPV-positive OSCC has been associated with oral sex in particular, this study could not associate infection with a particular sexual behavior, they added.
The incidence of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers increased 225% – from 0.8/100,000 to 2.8/100,000 – between 1988 and 2004
Well, about time to use that damn vaccine...