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Women with autoimmune conditions at higher risk of cervical cancer

Health Industry Hub | June 24, 2020 |

Women with autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), had higher rates of low-grade cervical cell abnormalities, which could put them at higher risk of cervical cancer, according to an Australian study.  

The study matched cervical screening episodes to emergency department records for women with and without autoimmune disorders over a 14-year period.

They found higher rates of low-grade cell abnormalities in most women with autoimmune conditions, which they say is consistent with them being more susceptible to HPV infection; previous research has linked certain types of HPV to cervical cancer.

Women with HIV or lupus also had greater rates of high-grade abnormalities. The authors say these findings support the expansion of cervical cancer preventative programs to include these at-risk females.

HIV

Females with HIV had significantly higher rates of high-grade histological abnormalities (19.40 vs 3.76 per 1,000 person-years, AHR = 4.89, p<0.001), high-grade cytological abnormalities (23.84 vs 6.26 per 1,000 person-years, AHR = 3.43, p = 0.001) and low-grade cytological abnormalities (48.46 vs 19.99 per 1,000 person-years, AHR = 2.23, p = 0.003).

Systemic lupus or connective tissue disease (SLE/MCTD)

Females with SLE/MCTD had significantly higher rates of high-grade histological abnormalities (5.57 vs 3.76 per 1,000 person-years, AHR = 1.47, p = 0.033), significantly higher rates of high-grade cytological abnormalities (8.25 vs 6.26 per 1,000 person-years, AHR = 1.33, p = 0.051), and significantly higher rates of low-grade cytological abnormalities (26.03 vs 19.99 per 1,000 person-years, AHR = 1.36, p<0.001).

IBD

Females with IBD had significantly higher rates of low-grade cytological abnormalities compared to controls (25.30 vs 19.99 per 1,000-person years, AHR = 1.19, p<0.001).

Psoriatic and enteropathic arthropathies

Females with PsA or EA had significantly higher rates of low-grade cytological abnormalities compared to controls (23.73 vs 19.99, AHR = 1.12, p = 0.035).

RA

Females with RA had significantly higher AHR of low-grade cytological abnormalities compared to controls (17.14 vs 19.99 per 1,000 person-years, AHR = 1.23, p = 0.008).


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