This article presents a review of evidences about Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer in Italy, highlighting geographical differences. Design: two systematic reviews recently published were updated, one collecting studies on the prevalence of HPV types in Italy in the general population and the other collecting prevalence of HPV types in cervical pathologic samples. The search was updated to 31.10.2010 and performed exclusively in MedLine and references in retrieved papers. Main outcome measures: the prevalence of HPV types has been related with the incidence of cervical cancer and the spread of Paptests and screening programs. Results: the prevalence high risk HPV types is 8% in studies with population-based random sample, with no significant difference between Centre-North and South-Islands, however, the prevalence is slightly higher in the south than the Centre-North for women up to 54 years of age, whereas in older women the ratio is reversed. HPV 16 is the most common type, while HPV 18 is less frequent, 5% and 1%, respectively. The average of HPV 16 positivity is 64% and 68% in CIN2/3 and invasive cancer, respectively, while the average of HPV 18 is 7% and 11% in CIN2/3 and invasive cancer, respectively. There are no significant differences by geographic area. The incidence of invasive cervical cancer in Italy has been decreasing in recent years changing from 9.2 to 7.7 per 100,000 inhabitants in 10 years.The incidence is lower in South-Islands. Pap-test coverage is over 80% in Centre-North and less than 60% in South-Islands. Conclusions: cervical cancer incidence is lower in Southern, while the Pap-test coverage is much higher in Centre-Northern Italy.This paradox, until now, has been interpreted as a consequence of a lower HPV prevalence in Southern than Northern regions. Recent studies on HPV prevalence do not confirm this hypothesis. Our interpretation is that, in Southern Italy, we are facing an epidemiologic scenario in transition where the low cancer incidence is the consequence of a low HPV prevalence in the previous decades, but new generations are experiencing a higher prevalence of HPV and will probably have higher risk of cervical cancer. The consequence may be an epidemic of cervical cancer in the next decades, if adequate screening programs are not implemented.
|Translated title of the contribution||Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), cervical cancer incidence and screening uptake: Differences among northern, central and Southern Italy|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Epidemiologia e prevenzione|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health