High-risk human papillomavirus seroprevalence in men and women of six different ethnicities in Amsterdam, the Netherlands: The HELIUS study

Papillomavirus Res. 2017 Jun:3:57-65. doi: 10.1016/j.pvr.2017.01.003. Epub 2017 Feb 1.


Background: Ethnic variations in the (sero)prevalence of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV related diseases have been observed previously. We explored if high-risk HPV (hrHPV) seropositivity indeed differs among 6 ethnic groups in Amsterdam the Netherlands and assessed if hrHPV seroprevalence is higher among women than men within each ethnic group, both after adjustment for confounders.

Methods: From the multi-ethnic HEalthy Life In an Urban Setting (HELIUS) study in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) we randomly selected 4637 men and women aged 18-44 years with a Dutch, South-Asian Surinamese, African Surinamese, Ghanaian, Moroccan, or Turkish ethnicity. Blood samples were tested for HPV-16,-18,-31,-33,-45,-52, and -58 antibodies using a validated Luminex-based multiplex serology assay. We assessed the association of both ethnicity and gender with hrHPV seropositivity using logistic regression models with generalised estimating equations.

Results: The hrHPV seroprevalence in Dutch, South-Asian Surinamese, African Surinamese, Ghanaian, Moroccan, and Turkish participants was 18%, 12%, 23%, 19%, 17%, and 15% in men, and 30%, 22%, 34%, 31%, 14%, and 15% in women, respectively. HrHPV seroprevalence of non-Dutch men did not differ significantly from Dutch men. HrHPV seroprevalence was significantly higher among African Surinamese women, and significantly lower among Moroccan and Turkish women when compared to Dutch women. These differences were not significant anymore after adjustment for demographic, health, and sexual behavioural differences between ethnicities. HrHPV seroprevalence varied by age, age of sexual debut, and lifetime sexual partners among women but not among men. Seroprevalence of hrHPV was higher among women than among men, except in the Turkish group.

Conclusion: Among women hrHPV seroprevalence differed by ethnicity, yet among men no pronounced differences were observed across ethnicities.

Keywords: Cross-sectional studies; Epidemiology; Ethnic; HELIUS; Human Papillomavirus; The Netherlands; health status disparities.