Carcinogenic HPV prevalence and age-specific type distribution in 40,382 women with normal cervical cytology, ASCUS/LSIL, HSIL, or cervical cancer: what is the potential for prevention?

Cancer Causes Control. 2014 Feb;25(2):179-89. doi: 10.1007/s10552-013-0320-z. Epub 2013 Nov 17.


Background: Assessment of the prevaccination type-specific prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the general population is important for the prediction of the impact of HPV vaccination.

Methods: We collected consecutively residual specimens from liquid-based cytology samples from 40,382 women from the general population in Copenhagen, Denmark, during 2002-2005. All samples were tested for high-risk HPV using the Hybrid Capture 2 technique, and genotyping was done using LiPa (Innogenetics). Through linkage with the Pathology Data Bank, we obtained information on the cytology result, and histology if any, on all women.

Results: The participants were 14-95 years of age (median age 37 years) at enrollment. The overall prevalence of HR HPV was 20.6 % ranging from 46.0 % in 20-23-year-old women to 5.7 % in women 65 years or older. Independently of cytology/histology, HPV16 was the most prevalent type. For virtually all HPV types, the occurrence of CIN3+ was higher when the specific HPV type was present together with HPV16 than it was together with other high-risk HPV types than HPV16 or if the HPV type occurred as a single infection. The prevalence of HPV16 and/or HPV18 was 74 % in cervical cancer and the corresponding prevalence of HPV16/18/31/33/45/52/58 was 89 %.

Conclusion: This study forms a valuable starting point for monitoring the effect of HPV vaccination in Denmark. In addition, the particular carcinogenic role of HPV16 and 18 is confirmed and may support a role of genotyping for HPV16 and 18 in cervical cancer screening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cervix Uteri / cytology*
  • Cervix Uteri / pathology
  • Cervix Uteri / virology
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Prevalence
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology
  • Young Adult