Evaluation of Human Papillomavirus as a Risk Factor for Preterm Birth or Pregnancy-Related Hypertension

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To compare rates of preterm birth and pregnancy-related hypertension in women with and without human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.


We performed a retrospective cohort study of all women delivered at our institution in 2013 who had cervical cancer screening test results within 3 years before delivery. Patients were excluded if they had prior procedure(s) for cervical dysplasia other than biopsy. There were two primary outcomes: preterm birth (less than 37 weeks of gestation) and pregnancy-related hypertension (gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, or eclampsia). Multivariable logistic regression was performed to adjust for confounders including demographic variables, diabetes, prior preterm birth, chronic hypertension, and other genital infections. Assuming a 10% prevalence of HPV, a rate of 12% in the HPV-negative group for both preterm birth and pregnancy-related hypertension, α of 0.05, and β of 0.2, we needed 2,207 patients to detect a 60% increase in the rate of either outcome in the HPV-positive group.


A total of 3,958 patients delivered in 2013, of whom 2,321 met eligibility criteria, 242 (10.4%) of whom were HPV-positive and 2,079 (89.2%) of whom were HPV-negative. In multivariate analyses, the rate of preterm birth was not significantly different between HPV-positive and HPV-negative women (16.5% compared with 12.2%, adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.9–1.9); rates of pregnancy-related hypertension also were not significantly different between HPV-positive and HPV-negative women (17.0% compared with 16.4%, adjusted OR 1.0, 95% CI 0.7–1.5).


Maternal HPV infection is not an independent risk factor for preterm birth or pregnancy-related hypertension.

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