Study Identifies Gender Bias in HPV Vaccination

Fewer than 15% of physicians routinely recommend HPV vaccination to male patients, according to the study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Permissive guidelines, financial considerations and patient payer status may have influenced physicians’ decision-making, researchers wrote.

“HPV is responsible for almost all cases of cervical and anal cancers, as well as 64% of vaginal cancers, 36% of penile cancers and 51% of vulvar cancers,” researcher Susan T. Vadaparampil, PhD, senior faculty member in the Health Outcomes and Behavior Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, said in a press release. “Women tend to be afflicted by HPV-induced cancer more than men; however, more men have genital and oral HPV infections than women.”

In 2009, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued a permissive recommendation indicating that physicians could vaccinate males aged 9 to 26 years against HPV. In 2011, the committee issued a stronger recommendation in support of routine vaccination of males ages 11 or 12 years.

Vadaparampil and colleagues conducted a mail-in survey of 746 family physicians and 473 pediatricians to examine factors associated with physician recommendations for HPV vaccination of patients ages 11 to 12 years, those aged 13 to 17 years, and those aged 18 to 26 years.

Physicians reported the frequency with which they recommended HPV vaccination to male patients, with a response of “always” equating to at least 75% of the time.

Link to the article on Healio: http://bit.ly/1yvkHqd

Link to the paper in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention: http://bit.ly/1nkQMx5