1. Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, China.
2. Department of Preventive Medicine, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, America.
3. Department of pathology, Jincheng General Hospital, Jincheng, China.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.
High-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) plays an aetiological role in the progression of cervical cancer and precancerous lesions. Determining the risk factors of HR-HPV infection is useful for HR-HPV infection surveillance and control. We aimed to explore the influencing factors of HR-HPV infection in female coal mine workers, and to evaluate the associations between HR-HPV DNA load and cytological and histological changes of cervix. In total 6,325 participants completed standard questionnaire on potential influencing factors of HR-HPV infection and underwent gynecological examinations, HPV test as well as Thinprep cytology test (TCT). 1,512 women with positive results of HPV and/or TCT were referred to colposcopy with biopsy and histological examination. HR-HPV DNA load was evaluated by Digene second generation hybrid capture (HC2) assay. Multiple unconditional logistic regression analysis was used to determine the influencing factors for HR-HPV infection. Of 6,325 study participants, 1,405 (22.2%) were HR-HPV positive. HR-HPV infection rate was higher in women aged 30-50 years, with lower education level, working inside the mines and engaging in shift work. Risk factors for HR-HPV infection in female coal mine workers included contraception (OR=1.395, 95%CI=1.102-1.458), previous artificial abortion (OR=1.603, 95%CI=1.202-1.856), working inside the mines (OR=1.230, 95%CI=1.056-1.528) and history of gynecological diseases (OR=1.198, 95%CI=1.001-1.462), while menopause was a protective factor (OR=0.402, 95%CI=0.306-0.507). The HR-HPV DNA load significantly increased with the severity of cervical cytological (χ2trend=177.372, p<0.001) and histological (χ2trend=194.501, p<0.001) changes. The results indicated that HR-HPV infection is highly prevalent in female coal mine workers in China. Contraception, artificial abortion, working inside the mines and gynecological diseases could increase the risk of HR-HPV infection in these women. HR-HPV DNA load might predict risks of cervical precancerous lesions and cancer. Our findings could provide scientific basis for reducing the risk of HR-HPV infection and cervical cancer in this vulnerable population.
Keywords: HR-HPV infection, influencing factors, HR-HPV DNA load, female coal mine workers