• HPV genotypes;
  • cervix of uterus;
  • Health Examination Center;
  • French social security;
  • risk factors;
  • PCR


Since human papillomavirus (HPV) is the central causal factor in cervical cancer, understanding the epidemiology of this infection constitutes an important step towards development of strategies for prevention. Six hundred and fifty seven cervical samples were tested for HPV using PCR with consensus primers (MY09/MY11), by genotyping (restriction and sequencing analyses) and by cervical cytology, from women who attended a Health Examination Center of the French social security. Women with no cervical smear as well as women with cytological abnormalities within the last 3 years were recruited. HPV DNA was detected in 7.3% of the women (5.3% for high-risk, 2.4% for low-risk, and 0.5% for unknown risk types) including 6 (0.9%) mixed infections. Fifteen different genotypes were detected, of which genotypes 16 (22.2%), 58 (13.0%), 18 (11.1%), 30 (9.2%), and 33 (9.2%) were the most prevalent. In age group 17–25 years, we found the highest frequencies for both any (22.1%) and high-risk (14.7%) HPV, and prevalences gradually decreased with age. 5.2% of low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, 0.3% of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, and 1.2% of atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance were found. The frequencies of high risk and all HPV types were significantly higher in squamous intraepithelial lesions than in those with normal and reactive/reparative changes (P < 0.0001). The prevalence of high-risk HPV in the atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance/low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion group (28.6%) was significantly higher than in the normal and reactive/reparative changes groups (3.4%) (P < 0.0001). HPV detection was associated with younger age, single marital and non-pregnant status (P < 0.0001), premenopausal status (P = 0.0004), and contraception (P = 0.0008). Marital status (OR 4.5; 95% CI = 2.3–9.0) and tobacco consumption (OR 3.0; 95% CI = 1.6–5.7) were predictive independent factors of HPV infection. The French system of Health Examination Centers might be of interest for following women regularly, especially those with a low socioeconomic status. J. Med. Virol. 73:262–268, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.