Is human papillomavirus associated with cervical neoplasia in the elderly?

Gynecol Oncol. 1992 Jul;46(1):6-12. doi: 10.1016/0090-8258(92)90187-n.


There have been no studies in the United States of human papillomavirus (HPV) in elderly women. This paper presents cross-sectional data on HPV and cervical neoplasia among 232 women age 65 or more. HPV deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing was performed using a modified dot-blot hybridization technique. The prevalence of HPV DNA positivity was 3.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.9%, 6.0%). There were six cases of histologic cervical neoplasia. The crude odds ratio for cervical neoplasia among HPV DNA positives was 18.3 (95% CI 2.8, 120.3). The adjusted odds, controlling for age, prior screening history, current sexual activity, and past contraception use, were 12.2 (95% CI 1.2, 122.9). Ever having had a Papanicolaou smear was protective, and there was a trend for the odds of having neoplasia to increase with age. Additional studies with larger samples of elderly women are needed. If confirmed, the results suggest that, independent of past screening, HPV may increase the risk of having cervical neoplasia for elderly women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • DNA Probes, HPV
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Odds Ratio
  • Papanicolaou Test
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Prevalence
  • Social Class
  • Tumor Virus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Tumor Virus Infections* / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / microbiology*
  • Vaginal Smears


  • DNA Probes, HPV
  • DNA, Viral