Several randomized clinical trials have shown that screening for high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) increases the likelihood of early detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). This study aims to offer an early risk assessment of extending screening intervals beyond 5 years for HPV-based cervical screening.

This follow-up of a population-based randomized cohort included a total of 43,339 women aged 29-61 years with negative HPV and/or negative cytology tests. The participating women were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive HPV and cytology co-testing (intervention) or cytology testing only (control). The primary outcome of the study was the cumulative incidence of cervical cancer and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN).

The findings suggested that the cumulative incidence was 0.095 for cervical cancer and 0.56% of CIN3+ in the intervention group, as compared with 0.09% and 0.69% in the control group, respectively. The risk ratios for cervical cancer and CIN3 were 0.97 and 0.82, respectively. The findings also indicated a 72.2% lower incidence of CIN3+ among women in the intervention group who aged 40 years and younger.

The research concluded that the incidence of cervical cancer and CIN3+ was lower in HPV women and supported the benefit of cervical screening interval beyond 5 years.

Ref: bmj.com/content/355/bmj.i4924