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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


GIULIANO, Anna R. et al. Design and results of the USA-Mexico Border Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Cervical Dysplasia, and Chlamydia trachomatis Study. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2001, vol.9, n.3, pp.172-181. ISSN 1680-5348.

Objective. Mexico has one of the highest mortality rates of invasive cervical cancer in the world. This is particularly true for the states in northern Mexico that border on the United States of America. In addition, Hispanics in the United States have higher rates than do non-Hispanics in the country. Therefore, a binational team was formed to focus on this problem and to determine the risk factors and prevalence of cervical dysplasia and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, the sexually transmitted disease (STD) known to cause cervical cancer. Chlamydia trachomatis infection, a common STD and potential HPV cofactor, was also assessed. Methods. Research was conducted in 1997 and 1998 in the border region of two states, Arizona in the United States and Sonora in Mexico, applying a cross-sectional study of women attending clinics for routine gynecologic care. Clinical measurements included Pap smears, HPV infection by both polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Hybrid Capture (HC), and C. trachomatis status by HC and enzyme-linked immunoassay (EIA). A total of 2 436 women were enrolled (mean age 33.3 years ± 10.3 years). Results. The overall prevalence of abnormal cytology was 9.3%, with a significant difference in the prevalence in Mexico (11.4%) vs. the United States (6.6%). Of the participants, 14.5% of them tested positive for HPV by PCR, with no significant difference between the two countries, in spite of a lower behavioral risk profile for the Mexican women. Overall prevalence of C. trachomatis was found to be greater by HC than by EIA (8.2% vs. 3.0%), and in Mexico higher by both methods. Conclusions. An important accomplishment of the project was the implementation of a quality control program for Pap smear collection, which resulted in a significant reduction in inadequate smears in Mexico. Despite numerous potential logistical barriers, the binational team successfully conducted a large-scale study in the border area and developed an infrastructure for future research.

Keywords : Human papillomavirus; cervical cancer; Chlamydia trachomatis; United States of America; Mexico.

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