Impact of human papillomavirus vaccination on racial/ethnic disparities in vaccine-type human papillomavirus prevalence among 14–26 year old females in the U.S.

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Background: Low human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates early after introduction, particularly among low income and minority adolescents, may have resulted in disparities in vaccine-type HPV prevalence (types 6, 11, 16, 18). The purpose of this study was to examine racial/ethnic variations in HPV prevalence, and evaluate how HPV vaccination has affected vaccine-type HPV prevalence across time. Methods: This study was a retrospective analysis of 6 cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data (2003–2014). Results on HPV status from vaginal samples of 14–26 year old females who responded about HPV vaccination were used to determine HPV prevalence. Prevaccine HPV prevalence was compared to post-licensure prevalence. Racial/ethnic comparisons were made across time, and models were developed to examine the role of HPV vaccination in observed variations for vaccine-type HPV prevalence. Results: Among 4080 females, 29.7% were black, 25.6% were Mexican American, 8.9% were Hispanic, and 35.8% were white. Compared to prevaccine years (2003–2006), vaccine-type HPV did not decrease until late post-licensure years (2011–2014; 14.2% vs. 5.2%, p < 0.001). Most of the decrease occurred among white females between prevaccine and late post-licensure periods (15.2% vs. 4.1%, p < 0.001). Although a decrease in prevalence was observed among black females during the same periods (16.9% vs. 9.8%, p < 0.05), it was not as large as among white females. Prevalence decreased among Mexican Americans (8.2 vs. 4.0, p > 0.05) during the same periods, but the difference was not significant. Interactions between race and time were significant (p < 0.001), with uneven vaccination between black and white females contributing to the disparities observed. Conclusions: HPV vaccination was low in among black and Mexican American females, which contributed to disparities in HPV prevalence. Increasing vaccination among all adolescents, particularly 11–12 year olds, is important because most children this age will not have been exposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • Cervical cancer prevention
  • Human papillomavirus disparities
  • Human papillomavirus vaccination
  • Racial/ethnic disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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