To distinguish risk factors for acquisition of cervical human papillomavirus (HPV) infection from the determinants of neoplasia among infected individuals we have conducted a three-arm case-control study nested within a large population-based cohort of women (the Manchester cohort) screened for HPV at entry using L1 consensus primer PCR. The study includes 181 HPV-positive controls who did not develop high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN3) during follow-up, 203 HPV-negative controls, and 199 HPV-positive cases with histologically confirmed CIN3. Detailed information on sexual, reproductive and gynaecological history, oral contraceptive use and smoking was obtained at face-to-face interview. There was a striking division between risk factors for infection and those predictive of disease. Comparing the HPV-positive against the HPV-negative controls, the only risk factors for infection were number of sexual partners (OR for six or more = 3.89; 95% Cl = 1.99-7.62), a relatively recent new sexual relationship (OR for a new partner within the previous 2 years = 4.17; 95% Cl = 2.13-8.33), and a history of previous miscarriage (OR = 2.59; 95% Cl = 1.28-5.21). The determinants of CIN3 among infected women were, in contrast, early age at first intercourse (OR for 16 years old or less = 3.23; 95% Cl = 1.33-7.69), a long time since starting a new sexual relationship (OR for 6 years or more = 4.94; 95% Cl = 2.51-9.71), and cigarette smoking, with strong evidence for a dose- response (OR for current smoking habit 20+ per day = 2.57; 95% Cl = 1.49-4.45). Oral contraceptive use was not significantly associated with either HPV infection or CIN3.
Copyright 2000 Cancer Research Campaign.