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Oral High-Risk HPV Prevalence Appears to Be Low in England

Smoking and sexual behavior associated with high-risk HPV status

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THURSDAY, Aug. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of oral high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infection in adult men and women is low in England, according to a study published online Aug. 20 in BMJ Open.

Vanessa Hearnden, Ph.D., from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, and colleagues assessed the prevalence of oral HR-HPV and associated risk factors for infection among 680 participants (aged 18 to 60 years; between April 2013 to August 2014).

The researchers found that the prevalence of oral HR-HPV infection was 2.2 percent, with 0.7 percent positive for HPV16 or HPV18. Oral HR-HPV infections were more likely in participants who were former smokers and had a greater number of sexual and oral sexual partners. Likelihood of HPV infection was not linked to folate status.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the prevalence of oral HR-HPV infection in adult men and women in England," the authors write. "The prevalence is low and the data suggest that oral infection with HR types is associated with tobacco use and sexual behavior."

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