Genital warts and cervical neoplasia: an epidemiological study.
Franceschi S., Doll R., Gallwey J., La Vecchia C., Peto R., Spriggs AI.
Cervical carcinoma and cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN) are likely to be associated with all sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). To help discover which (if any) of the recognised STDs might actually cause these conditions, a key question is whether one particular such association is much stronger than the others. The present study is therefore only of women newly attending an STD clinic, and compares the prevalences of cytological abnormalities of the cervix among 415 women attending with genital warts, 135 with genital herpes, and 458 with trichomoniasis or gonorrhoea. Significantly more genital wart patients (8.1%) than trichomoniasis or gonorrhoea patients (1.9%) showed dyskaryotic changes (adjusted relative risk (RR) = 5.8 with 95% limits 2.5-13.5) at, or a few months before, first attendance, while no excess whatever was seen in women with genital herpes. Moreover, half the women had a subsequent smear (at an average of 3-4 years after first attendance) and, although the diagnosis at first attendance was not related to the onset rate of dyskaryotic changes observed in these subsequent smears, it was related to the onset rate of grade III cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN III), which was found in 7 previous genital wart patients, in 2 previous trichomonas patients, but in 0 previous genital herpes patients. Thus, our findings suggest that herpes is not directly relevant to dyskaryotic change, but that one or more of the human papilloma viruses that cause genital warts may be.