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Open Access Research article

Age-specific prevalence of human papilloma virus infection among Nigerian women

Sally N Akarolo-Anthony12*, Ayo O Famooto2, Eileen O Dareng2, Olayinka B Olaniyan3, Richard Offiong4, Cosette M Wheeler5 and Clement A Adebamowo126

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA

2 Office of Strategic Information and Research Department, Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, 252 Herbert Macaulay Way, Abuja, Nigeria

3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, National Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria

4 University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Nigeria

5 Department of Pathology, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA

6 Institute of Human Virology and Greenebaum Cancer Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:656  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-656

Published: 27 June 2014



Inconsistent trends in HPV prevalence by age have been described in Africa. We examined the age prevalence pattern and distribution of 37 HPV-DNA types among urban Nigerian women.


The study population was a sample of 278 women who presented to cervical cancer screening programs in Abuja, Nigeria, between April and August 2012. Using a nurse administered questionnaire, information on demographic characteristics and risk factors of cervical cancer was collected and samples of cervical exfoliated cells were obtained from all participants. Roche Linear Array HPV Genotyping Test® was used to characterize prevalent HPV and log-binomial regression models were used to examine the association between potential correlates and the prevalence of HPV infection.


The mean age (SD) of the women enrolled was 38 (8) years. The overall prevalence of HPV was 37%. HPV 35 was the most prevalent HPV type in the study population. Among women age ≤ 30 years, 52% had HPV infection compared to 23% of those women who were older than 45 years (p = 0.006). We observed a significant linear association between age and the prevalence of HPV infections. The prevalence ratio (PR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) was 2.26 (1.17, 4.34) for any HPV infection, 3.83 (1.23, 11.94) for Group 1 HPV (definite carcinogens), and 2.19 (0.99, 4.84) for Group 2a or 2b HPV (probable or possible carcinogens) types, among women aged 18–30 years, compared to women who were older than 45 years.


The prevalence of HPV infection was highest among younger women and decreased steadily with age among this population of urban Nigerian women.

HPV infection; Prevalence; Nigeria