Background: Condylomata acuminata is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) diagnosed in the United States, yet relatively little research has been conducted on the determinants of this disease in well-defined populations.
Goal: To determine the exposures that predispose a woman to the development of condylomata acuminata or genital warts.
Study design: A population-based case-control study was conducted among enrollees of Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound. Patients (94 women with incident and 55 women with recurrent condyloma) were diagnosed between April 1, 1987 and September 30, 1991. Control subjects were 133 women without a history of genital warts. An in-person interview was conducted to collect information on subject characteristics, exposures, and on all episodes of genital warts.
Results: Women with five or more partners within the 5 years before reference date were over seven times more likely to have incident condyloma (relative risk [RR], 7.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.1-18.1) and over 12 times more likely to have recurrent condyloma (RR, 12.8; 95% CI, 4.2-38.9) compared with women with only one sexual partner during this time period. An increased risk of incident condyloma was also associated with a history of any STD (RR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.1-5.8), a history of oral herpes (RR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.1-4.4), and a history of allergies (RR, 2.0 95% CI, 1.0-3.8). Our data did not support a strong association between risk of condyloma and smoking or recent use of oral contraceptives.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that risk of condyloma is primarily related to sexual behavior. We did not observe a strong association between risk of condyloma and many of the exposures considered to be potential cofactors for anogenital cancers associated with other types of human papillomaviruses.