HPV Vaccination Program Tied to Fewer Cervical Abnormalities

Decrease in incidence of high-grade cervical lesions in girls younger than 18 years

FRIDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of high-grade cervical abnormalities (HGAs) has decreased in girls younger than 18 years, within three years of the implementation of a population-wide human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program in Australia, according to a review published in the June 18 issue of The Lancet.

Julia M.L. Brotherton, B.Med., from the Victorian Cytology Service in East Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues examined trends in cervical abnormalities in women in Victoria, Australia, before and after the introduction of an HPV vaccination program. Data recorded between 2003 and 2009 at the Victorian Cervical Cytology Registry were used to compare the incidence of histopathologically defined HGAs and low-grade cytological abnormalities (LGAs) in five age groups before (January 2003 to March 2007) and after (April 2007 to December 2009) the introduction of the vaccination program.

The investigators found that the incidence of HGAs in girls younger than 18 decreased significantly, from 0.80 percent before vaccination to 0.42 percent after the introduction of the vaccination program, (a difference of 0.38 percent). The HGA incidence rate showed a progressive linear decrease, which was significantly different from the linear trend in incidence before introduction of the vaccination. There was no significant decrease in incidence of LGAs or in older age groups.

"This ecological analysis reports a decrease in the incidence of high-grade cervical lesions in girls aged younger than 18 years in the three years after the start of the HPV vaccination program in Victoria," the authors write.

Several authors received funding from grants supported in part by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

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