The findings are published in the May issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The HPV vaccine prevents four strains of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, two of which are found in about 70 percent of all women with cervical cancer. Both the American Cancer Society and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommend that women and girls receive the vaccine, but the new data shows that only 34 percent of girls ages 13 to 17 were vaccinated in the six states surveyed.
“The good news is that the vaccination rate is increasing,” says first author Sandi L. Pruitt, PhD. “The bad news is this is just the first dose of a three-dose vaccine."
Pruitt, a postdoctoral research associate in Washington University’s Division of Health Behavior Research, tracked rates of HPV vaccination in Delaware, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia. She and senior investigator Mario Schootman, PhD, analyzed data from 1,709 girls in 274 counties of the six states in this study. The information came from a national telephone survey called the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).
“This was the first year the survey asked about HPV vaccination,” Pruitt says. “That portion of the survey was optional, and only six states opted to use it. Ideally, we’d like to know what’s happening in more states, but these six states represent a good cross-section of urban and rural, rich and poor, and they do include girls from racial and ethnic groups that closely mirror the rest of the country."
More than 70 percent of the girls in this study were white, and almost 75 percent had health insurance. Girls living in states with more poverty were less likely to get the HPV vaccine, but higher poverty rates in the individual counties within those states and lower family income levels actually made it more likely a girl would be vaccinated. Pruitt says those seemingly contradictory findings may be explained in part by the way in which funding for vaccines is allocated.
“For the neediest children, the United States has a publicly funded vaccination system, but each state sets its own guidelines for who is eligible to receive free vaccines,” she says. “Individual states set different guidelines for providing vaccines to those with no insurance versus those who may be underinsured. So girls from poorer counties may be more likely to qualify for a free vaccine, whereas those states with more poverty may not have adequate funding to provide it or may be less likely to fill in gaps for those who may not have enough private insurance coverage to pay for it."
Pruitt says it’s important that poorer, less-educated African-American and Hispanic girls and women have access to the HPV vaccine because women from those groups have higher rates of cervical cancer. This study found women from those racial and ethnic backgrounds are just as likely as white girls to receive the initial dose of the vaccine.
“We didn’t find a racial disparity in terms of vaccination,” she says. “That’s very important because the highest burden of cervical cancer is among women of color, especially Hispanic women and those who live along the U.S.-Mexico border. There’s a huge epidemic of cervical cancer among those women, so the fact that we didn’t find racial and ethnic disparities is a good thing.”
Last year, an estimated 11,000 cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed in the United States, and more than 4,000 of those women will eventually die from the disease.
Girls whose parents had more education also were more likely to get the vaccine, but surprisingly, rates of vaccination declined slightly as family income levels rose. Pruitt says that may be due to the rising number of wealthier parents choosing not to vaccinate their children for anything, but it’s unclear from the data what motivated people to choose either to vaccinate or not.
The HPV vaccine, known as Gardasil, was controversial when it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2006 because some feared that vaccinating girls as young as age 11 against a sexually transmitted virus may encourage them to become sexually active or engage in riskier behaviors. But no evidence to date suggests receiving the HPV vaccine encourages earlier sexual initiation or riskier sexual behaviors.
The vaccine is now approved for both boys and girls, beginning at age 11 to 12. The HPV vaccine also can be given to adolescents and young adults as old as 26. Pruitt says as more states report on the HPV vaccine, it will be possible to learn whether to anticipate future reductions in the incidence of cervical cancer.
Pruitt SL, Schootman M, Geographic disparity, area poverty and human papillomavirus vaccination. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol. 30 (5), pp. 525-533. May 2010.
The study was funded in part by Pruitt’s postdoctoral fellowship through the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center’s Prevention and Control Program.
Washington University School of Medicine's 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.
Jim Dryden | EurekAlert!
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
16.01.2017 | Information Technology
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering