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Medical News

Herpes Simplex Virus and Risk of Cervical Cancer: A Longitudinal, Nested Case-Control Study in the Nordic Countries

February 25, 2003

Herpes simplex virus type 2 was considered a major cause of invasive cervical carcinoma, according to the current study, from the end of the 1960s to the early 1980s, when the paradigm was revised. "During the 1990s," the authors wrote, "considerable improvement took place in the serologic diagnosis of herpes simplex and HPV infections. ... These assay developments have substantially improved the potential of serum sample banks to identify causes of anogenital cancers. ... By using state-of-the-science laboratory assays and a nested case-control design, we analyzed by far the largest known quantity of serum sample material collected since the 1970s in the Nordic countries (1974-1993) and compared the results systematically with those from other longitudinal studies on HSV-2 and cervical carcinoma."

The study cohort consisted of 550,000 Nordic women in Finland, Norway and Sweden. Through linkage of data from serum banks and cancer registries, the researchers isolated 178 cervical carcinoma cases and 537 controls. Of the 178 cases with invasive cervical carcinoma, 150 had cervical squamous cell carcinoma. Adjusting for other risk factors such as C. trachomatis, smoking, HPV-16/HPV-18/HPV-33, data showed that HSV-2 is not a cause of invasive cervical carcinoma. "Although the nonsignificant increase of HSV-2-associated risk of squamous cell carcinoma by increasing lag may deserve consideration in even larger studies, we conclude that HSV-2 is not likely to be causally associated with invasive cervical carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma," the authors wrote.

Back to other CDC news for February 25, 2003

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Adapted from:
American Journal of Epidemiology
10.15.02; Vol. 156; No. 8: P. 687-692; Matti Lehtinen; Pentti Koskela; Egil Jellum; Aini Bloigu; Tarja Anttila; Göran Hallmans; Tiina Luukkaala; Steinar Thoresen; Linda Youngman; Joakim Dillner; Matti Hakama



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

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