Study Points to Disparity in HPV Vaccine Uptake

At an ongoing AACR meeting on Health Disparities in cancer, researchers from the Gillings School of Global Public Health presented data showing HPV vaccine uptake among girls is lowest in states with the highest rates of cervical cancer.

The proportion of adolescent girls receiving human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines was much lower in states with higher rates of cervical cancer incidence and mortality, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held Nov. 9—12.

HPV vaccines can prevent individuals from developing several types of cancer, including cervical, anal, vaginal, and vulvar cancers.

“Cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates vary widely by state,” said Jennifer L. Moss, MSPH, a doctoral student in the Department of Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health in Chapel Hill. “Our data show that adolescent girls remain vulnerable to disease in areas where women already have a higher risk of developing and dying from cervical cancer. If more adolescents, both girls and boys, in these states received an HPV vaccine, their risk of HPV-related cancers would drop dramatically.

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Source: AACR