Obesity and Human Papillomavirus Infection in Perimenopausal Women

Su Hsun Liu, Anne F. Rositch, Raphael P. Viscidi, Michelle I. Silver, Anne E. Burke, Patti E. Gravitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Introduction. Obesity is known to increase susceptibility to certain infections in men. It is unclear whether obesity increases women's risk for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.Methods. In a prospective cohort of 696 perimenopausal women enrolled in 2008-2012, we sought to determine whether obesity predicted incident HPV detection or nondetection. Obesity was defined as body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2.Results. Baseline any type HPV prevalence was comparable between obese and nonobese women (18.7% vs 19.1%; P >. 05). Over a median follow-up period of 17.9 months (interquartile range: 12.1-24.5), 187 new HPV detections occurred among 123 women, 60 of whom subsequently lost 76 detectable infections. When compared with nonobese participants, obese women had a similar rate of new HPV detection (7.1 vs 7.8 infections per 1000 infection-years; P >. 05) or loss of detection (100.3 vs 85.8 infections per 100 infection-years; P >. 05). Similar results were found after adjusting for age, menopausal status, smoking habit, and sexual exposure history.Conclusions. Results from the current analysis suggest little effect of obesity on HPV detection and loss of detection in mid-adult women. More research is needed to determine whether adipokines or cytokines better capture the potential immune modulating effects of obesity on HPV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1071-1080
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013


  • adipokine
  • body mass index
  • discrete-time survival analysis
  • frailty model
  • human papillomavirus
  • obesity
  • waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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