Risk factors for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia

F. Parazzini, C. La Vecchia, E. Negri, L. Fedele, S. Franceschi, L. Gallotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To evaluate risk factors for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), data were collected in a case-control study based on 366 patients (58 with CIN class 1, 70 with CIN class 2, and 238 with CIN class 3) and 323 control subjects with normal cervical smears interviewed on selected days at the same screening clinics where cases had been identified. No relationship emerged between indicators of socioeconomic status (education and social class) and risk of mild/moderate (considered together) and severe dysplasia. A total of 55 (43%) patients with CIN class 1 or 2, 107 (45%) patients with CIN class 3, and 94 (29%) controls were current smokers. The corresponding relative risk (RR) estimates for current versus never smokers were 1.9 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2 to 3.0) for patients with CIN class 1 or 2 and 2.5 (95% CI 1.7 to 3.6) for patients with CIN class 3, and the risk increased with the number of cigarettes smoked per day. No relationship was observed between oral contraceptive use, parity, spontaneous or induced abortions and the risk of CIN, but patients tended to report earlier age at first birth than control subjects. Compared with women reporting their first birth before the age of 20 years, the risk estimates were 0.5 and 0.4, respectively, for patients with CIN 1 or 2 and patients with CIN 3 in women reporting first birth at 20 to 24 years of age. The risk estimates were 0.5 and 0.6 for those reporting their first birth at age 25 or later, but the trends in risk were not statistically significant. The number of sexual partners was directly associated with the risk for both histopathologic subgroups. Compared with women reporting no intercourse or their first intercourse after 22 years of age, women with first intercourse before the age 18 had a RR estimate of CIN class 1 or 2 of 2.3 and of CIN class 3 of 2.4, with the trends in risk being statistically significant. This study confirms considerable similarities in the epidemiology of mild/moderate and severe cervical dysplasia. In addition, it suggests consistency between the epidemiology of intraepithelial and invasive cervical neoplasia for risk factors that are likely to act on one of the first stages of the process of carcinogenesis (i.e., indications of sexual habits) but differences for hormone-mediated factors (i.e., reproductive variables or oral contraceptives).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2276-2282
Number of pages7
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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