Risk factors for cervical cancer in a black elderly population: preliminary findings

Ethn Dis. 1992 Fall;2(4):337-42.


Limited information is available on cervical cancer among black or elderly women. This paper presents preliminary cross-sectional data on risk factors for prevalent cervical neoplasia among 278 predominantly black, elderly women attending an inner-city, public hospital cancer-screening program. Interviews were administered to obtain information on exposure variables; human papillomavirus DNA hybridization was performed on 83.5% of the participants. Six cases of cervical neoplasia were detected. The crude prevalence OR among women with human papillomavirus infection was 18.3 (95% CI: 1.94, 121.0). Women who reported ever having used birth control also had a significantly increased crude and adjusted risk of cervical cancer, although this variable likely was a proxy measure for sexual behavior. In the logistic regression model, the adjusted prevalence ORs of disease among human papillomavirus-positive women and among women reporting any postmenopausal bleeding were significantly increased. Confidence intervals for adjusted results, however, were wide because of the small number of cases and the low prevalence of some exposures. More studies with larger samples are needed to determine whether accepted risk factors for whites are also associated with cervical neoplasia among black, elderly women.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Black or African American
  • Contraceptive Devices, Female / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Uterine Hemorrhage / physiopathology