A decline in human papillomavirus (HPV) infections among unvaccinated US women aged 18 to 26 years suggests that this population group is beginning to benefit from herd immunity resulting from the introduction of the HPV vaccine, a recent study found. The study evaluated HPV prevalence among women aged 18 to 59 years from 2009-2014 using cross-sectional survey data from 3 different cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Data were stratified into 4 age groups: (18-26, 27-34, 35-44, and 45-49) to examine trends over time in the postvaccine era. Researchers found:
- A significant decrease in the prevalence of vaccine-type HPV was observed among women aged 18-59 years from 2009-2010 to 2013-2014.
- This decline was only significant in those aged 18-26 years when the sample was stratified into 4 age groups.
- Among vaccine women aged 18-26 years, HPV prevalence remained low from 2009-2010 (3.9%) to 2013-2014 (2.0%).
- Unvaccinated women aged 18-26 years also demonstrated a significant decrease over time from 19.5% in 2009-2010 to 9.7% in 2013-2014.
Berenson AB, Hirth JM, Chang M. Change in human papillomavirus prevalence among U.S. women aged 18-59 years, 2009-2014. [Published online ahead of print September 5, 2017]. Obstet Gynecol. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000002193.