TUESDAY, Aug. 23, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination appears to be associated with a reduction in HPV-16/18 infection prevalence among a recent birth cohort of vaccinated and unvaccinated 18- to 26-year-old women, according to a research letter published online Aug. 19 in JAMA Health Forum.

Zahed Shahmoradi, Ph.D., from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, and colleagues compared HPV prevalence in 1980s and 1990s birth cohorts to assess whether HPV vaccination has been associated with reduced infection rates among 18- to 26-year-old age groups. The analysis included data from two cycles (2005 to 2006 and 2015 to 2016) of the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2,698 women).

The researchers found that the prevalence of HPV-16/18 among participants born in the 1990s was statistically significantly lower (5.6 percent) than among those born in the 1980s (12.5 percent). HPV-16/18 prevalence among women aged 18 to 26 years old was 15.2 percent before vaccination introduction (2005 to 2006 cycle) and declined to 3.3 percent overall (5.1 percent among unvaccinated and 1.0 percent among vaccinated groups) in the 2015 to 2016 period. During the 2015 to 2016 cycle compared with the 2005 to 2006 cycle, the estimated probability of HPV-16/18 infection was 78 percent lower overall, including 60 percent lower for the unvaccinated and 92 percent lower for the vaccinated.

“A larger decline in the prevalence of HPV-16/18 infection among 18- to 20-year-old women during the 2015 to 2016 time period may reflect greater direct and herd protection from broader HPV vaccination coverage,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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