Human papilloma virus infection related to an increased risk of premature birth

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Electron micrograph of a negatively stained human papilloma virus (HPV) that occurs in human warts. Credit: public domain

A study from the University of Gothenburg shows that women who carry the human papilloma virus (HPV) have a high risk of premature birth. Therefore, a connection can be seen between the virus itself and the risk of premature birth that had been previously observed in pregnant women who have been treated for abnormal cell changes due to HPV.

Women who wear (HPV) have a high risk of , shows a study from the University of Gothenburg. Therefore, a connection can be seen between the virus itself and the risk of premature birth which has previously been observed in who have undergone treatment for abnormal cell changes due to HPV.

A Swedish study is now published in the high-ranking journal PLOS medicine includes data on more than a million births. Consequently, researchers have compared very large groups. They point out that the results do not support any assessment of risk levels in individual women of childbearing age.

Johanna Wiik, a Ph.D. student of obstetrics and gynecology at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, and also gynecologist and obstetrician in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, is the first author of the study.

“I would like to point out that the increased risk of preterm birth is small for women carrying HPV. But our results support that young people should participate in the HPV vaccination program,” she says. HPV vaccination can not only prevent HPV-related cancer, but can also be beneficial for pregnancy outcomes.

Statistically significant increase in risk

It had previously been known that treatment for abnormal changes in cervical cells due to HPV infection increased the risk of preterm birth, defined as childbirth before 37 weeks of gestation. The present study shows that HPV as such is associated with a high risk of preterm birth and complications for the child.

The study is based on birth data recorded in the Swedish Medical Birth Register, which have been merged with the National Quality Register for Cervical Cancer Prevention and the Swedish Cancer Registry. In total, 1,044,023 births were included between 1999 and 2016. Of the affected women, 23,185 had received treatment previously, while 11,727 were untreated and had a positive HPV screening test immediately before or during pregnancy. .

Of the women previously treated by CIN, 9.1% gave birth prematurely. The proportion for the group with HPV infection along with the pregnancies was 5.9 percent. This was a statistically significant increase compared to a reference group of cervical screening testing had always been normal, of which 4.6 percent gave birth prematurely.

Importance of vaccines and cell sampling

Verena Sengpiel, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Sahlgrenska Academy and obstetrician at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, is the latest author of the study.

“Our study is based on records, and although we have adjusted for several factors to the analyzes, we cannot reliably answer the question of whether the virus itself causes the complications of pregnancy and childbirth. All we can do is show a statistical association, ”she says.

“We will soon be able to see how the incidence of preterm birth is affected after the HPV vaccination program has been introduced. This will give us more information on whether there is a causal connection between the HPV infection itself and the outcome of the birth. “.

The researchers stress the importance of considering gynecological cell sampling requirements, in order to detect any changes in cervical cells due to HPV infection. Johanna Wiik from us:

“The sooner these abnormal cell changes are detected, the better we can track and treat them. And when you admit it , it is a good idea to tell your midwife if you have had changes in your cervical cells and if you have been treated for them. Maternity health professionals can then take this information into account when planning to monitor your pregnancy. ”


Drinking water nitrate linked to the spontaneous risk of premature birth


More information:
Johanna Wiik et al, Associations of human papilloma virus infection treated and untreated with premature birth and neonatal mortality: a Swedish population-based study, PLOS medicine (2021). DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pmed.1003641

Citation: Human papilloma virus infection related to increased risk of premature birth (2021, May 31) recovered on May 31, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-infection-human- papillomavirus-linked-higher.html

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