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Keywords:

  • cervical neoplasms;
  • cytology;
  • cost effectiveness;
  • human papillomavirus;
  • longitudinal studies;
  • models;
  • screening

Abstract

A simulation model is presented that assumes that persistent infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) is a necessary cause of cervical cancer. For the estimation of the model parameters, data of recent Dutch follow-up studies were reanalyzed. The predicted incidences of cervical cancer, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN1, CIN2 and CIN3) and abnormal cytology were validated with nationwide figures and population-based screening results. The model predicted a lifetime risk for cervical cancer of 2.9% with a peak at age 48 years. The predicted lifetime risk dropped to 0.4% when attending cervical screening. For women who were not hrHPV infected at 30 years, the lifetime risk was 1.6%. Sensitivity analyses were performed to check natural history assumptions that were only weakly identified from available data sets. The incidence of CIN3 observed with screening appeared a useful clinical end point as the predicted incidence was robust against changes in the sensitivity of cervical cytology and the duration to CIN3. The model can be used to study the health-economic benefits that can be achieved in nationwide screening when including an hrHPV test. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.