HealthDay News — Persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is associated with an increased risk for preterm birth, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.

Joseph Niyibizi, MD, PhD, from the University of Montreal, and colleagues assessed whether HPV infection is associated with preterm birth (defined as a live birth or stillbirth between 20 weeks and 0 days and 36 weeks and 6 days of gestation) among a cohort of 899 pregnant women recruited between November 8, 2010, and October 16, 2016.

The researchers found that 42% of women had HPV DNA detected in vaginal samples collected during the first trimester, while in 11.1% of women, it was detected in the placenta at delivery. Preterm births occurred in 55 women (38 spontaneous and 17 medically indicated). There was a significant association observed between persistent vaginal HPV-16/18 detection and all preterm births (adjusted odds ratio, 3.72) and spontaneous preterm births (adjusted odds ratio, 3.32). Similar findings were seen for placental HPV infection (adjusted odds ratios, 2.53 and 2.92 for all preterm births and spontaneous preterm births, respectively).

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“If confirmed in larger and more diverse populations, these findings would support a role for HPV vaccination programs in the reduction of the burden of preterm births,” the authors wrote.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text