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Race a Factor In Completing HPV Series


 

From the annual meeting of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine

Major Finding: Eleven percent of girls who self-identified as black received all three doses of the HPV vaccine, compared with 22% of the white girls and 15% of those identified as other races.

Data Source: A retrospective study of medical records on 3,297 girls between ages 9 and 26 years who received the first HPV vaccine dose between June 2006 and June 2008 from an urban medical center.

Disclosures: None was reported.

TORONTO — Girls who identified themselves as white were twice as likely as those who identified themselves as black to complete the three-shot vaccination series against the human papillomavirus, according to a retrospective investigation of medical records.

“This is concerning because, historically, black women have had lower rates of cervical cancer screening and been more at risk from dying of cervical cancer. With unequal distribution of the vaccine, the racial disparity in cervical cancer may worsen,” Dr. Lea Widdice said in a poster at the meeting.

Moreover, overall, only 14% of girls initiating the HPV vaccine series actually completed the three-shot series within 7 months of the first dose.

Clinical recommendations for the vaccine are to get the third shot 6 months after the first.

Dr. Widdice and her colleagues conducted a retrospective investigation of medical records on 3,297 girls between ages 9 and 26 years who received the first HPV vaccine dose between June 2006 and June 2008 from an urban, academic pediatric medical center with multiple primary care and specialty clinics.

Overall, 11% of the black girls received all three doses of the vaccine, compared with 22% of the white girls and 15% of those identified as other races, reported Dr. Widdice, a pediatrician at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Patients were predominantly from primary care (95%) and 65% used Medicaid. The majority (67%) self-identified as black, 29% said they were white, and 4% were classified as other races.

Even after investigators controlled for factors such as type of insurance and the different types of clinics giving the vaccine (primary care pediatrics, adolescent primary care, adolescent specialty clinics, or other specialty clinics), race was still strongly associated with getting all three of the doses on schedule.

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