The burden of HPV-related diseases in Italy, 2001-12

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Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the main cause of cervical cancer and plays a relevant role in the development of genital warts and of the cancer of penis and anus, head/neck, oropharynx and genitourinary system. The aim of this study is the evaluation of hospitalizations due to HPV-related pathologies in 2001-12 in Italy.


The national hospital discharge forms were provided by the Ministry of Health. The HPV-related hospitalizations were identified using specific diagnostic codes, accordingly to the ICD-9-CM coding system. The proportion of hospitalizations of potentially HPV-related pathologies, obtained from the literature, was evaluated as well as the hospitalization rates (hr) and their trend over time.


Uterine cervical cancer and CIN III accounted for 40% of hospitalizations (hr: 15.6/100 000 and 17.6/100 000, respectively). Head/neck and oropharynx pathologies accounted for 24.5% of cases (hr: 16/100 000 and 3.9/100 000, in males and females, respectively), followed by genital warts (17.3% of hospitalizations; hr: 7.5/100 000 in males and 8.52/100 000 in females), anal (8.1% of hospitalizations), genitourinary (7.7%) and penis cancers (2.2%).


The study, even if limited to the evaluation of hospitalizations, points out how HPV-related pathologies continue to be a relevant public health issue in Italy with a high impact on population.

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