Prevalence of oral HPV infection in the United States, 2009-2010

JAMA, 02/15/2012

Maura L. Gillison et al. – Among men and women aged 14 to 69 years in the United States, the overall prevalence of oral HPV infection was 6.9%, and the prevalence was higher among men than among women.


  • Cross–sectional study was conducted as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2009–2010, a statistically representative sample of the civilian noninstitutionalized US population
  • Men and women aged 14 to 69 years examined at mobile examination centers were eligible
  • Participants (N = 5579) provided a 30–second oral rinse and gargle with mouthwash
  • For detection of HPV types, DNA purified from oral exfoliated cells was evaluated by polymerase chain reaction and type–specific hybridization
  • Demographic and behavioral data were obtained by standardized interview
  • Statistical analyses used NHANES sample weights to provide weighted prevalence estimates for the US population


  • Prevalence of oral HPV infection among men and women aged 14 to 69 years was 6.9% (95% CI, 5.7%–8.3%) and of HPV type 16 was 1.0% (95% CI, 0.7%–1.3%)
  • Oral HPV infection followed a bimodal pattern with respect to age, with peak prevalence among individuals aged 30 to 34 years (7.3%; 95% CI, 4.6%–11.4%) and 60 to 64 years (11.4%; 95% CI, 8.5%–15.1%)
  • Men had a significantly higher prevalence than women for any oral HPV infection (10.1% [95% CI, 8.3%–12.3%] vs 3.6% [95% CI, 2.6%–5.0%], P < .001; unadjusted prevalence ratio [PR], 2.80 [95% CI, 2.02–3.88])
  • Infection was less common among those without vs those with a history of any type of sexual contact (0.9% [95% CI, 0.4%–1.8%] vs 7.5% [95% CI, 6.1%–9.1%], P < .001; PR, 8.69 [95% CI, 3.91–19.31]) and increased with number of sexual partners (P < .001 for trend) and cigarettes smoked per day (P < .001 for trend)
  • Associations with age, sex, number of sexual partners, and current number of cigarettes smoked per day were independently associated with oral HPV infection in multivariable models

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