Oral folic acid supplementation for cervical dysplasia: a clinical intervention trial

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1992 Mar;166(3):803-9. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(92)91337-a.


Objective: We attempted to evaluate the effect of oral folic acid supplementation on the course of cervical dysplasia.

Study design: A total of 235 subjects with grade 1 or 2 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia were randomly assigned to receive either 10 mg of folic acid or a placebo daily for 6 months. Clinical status, human papillomavirus type 16 infection, and blood folate levels were monitored at 2-month intervals. Outcome data were subjected to chi 2 analysis.

Results: The prevalence of human papillomavirus type 16 infection initially was 16% among subjects in the upper tertile of red blood cell folate versus 37% in the lower tertile (trend p = 0.035). After 6 months no significant differences were observed between supplemented and unsupplemented subjects regarding dysplasia status, biopsy results, or prevalence of human papillomavirus type 16 infection.

Conclusion: Folate deficiency may be involved as a cocarcinogen during the initiation of cervical dysplasia, but folic acid supplements do not alter the course of established disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Cervix Uteri / microbiology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / blood
  • Folic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification
  • Patient Compliance
  • Regression Analysis
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / blood
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / drug therapy*
  • Vaginal Smears


  • Folic Acid