Smokers and single men more likely to acquire cancer-causing oral HPV
TAMPA, Fla., USA/SAO PAULO, Brazil/CUERNAVACA, Mexico: The human papillomavirus (HPV) is known to cause cervical, anal, and genital cancer, and it has recently been established as a cause of the majority of oropharyngeal cancers too. Now, a study has shown that smokers and unmarried men have the highest risk of oral HPV infection.
In order to obtain a better understanding of the incidence and clearance of HPV infections, researchers from the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., recruited 1,626 men living in Brazil, Mexico and the U.S. into the HPV Infection in Men (HIM) cohort study. The participants were aged between 18 and 73, and had no history of anogenital cancer. They provided two or more oral rinse-and-gargle samples every six months for up to four years.
The researchers found that 4.4 percent of the participants had acquired an incidental oral HPV infection, 1.7 percent an oral oncogenic HPV infection, and 0.6 percent an oral HPV16 infection. The acquisition of an oral oncogenic HPV was significantly associated with smoking and not being married or cohabiting. About 45 percent of participants were either married or cohabiting, and 46.9 percent reported being single.
The study, titled "Incidence and Clearance of Oral Human Papillomavirus Infection in Men: The HIM Cohort Study," was published online on July 2 in The Lancet.