Spousal migration and human papillomavirus infection among women in rural western Nepal

Academic Article


  • © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Background: In April 2014 we investigated the association of migration of a woman's husband with her high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infection status and her abnormal cervical cytology status in the Achham district of rural far-western Nepal. Methods:Women were surveyed and screened for HR-HPV during a health camp conducted by the Nepal Fertility Care Center. Univariate and multivariable statistical tests were performed to determine the association of a husband's migration status with HR-HPV infection and cervical cytology status. Results: In 265 women, the prevalence of HR-HPV was 7.5% (20/265), while the prevalence of abnormal cervical cytology, defined using the Bethesda system as atypical glandular cells of undetermined significance or worse, was 7.6% (19/251). Half of the study participants (50.8%, 130/256) had husbands who had reported migrating for work at least once. Women aged ≤34 years were significantly less likely to test positive for HR-HPV than women aged > 34 years (OR 0.22, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.71). HR-HPV infection and abnormal cervical cytology status were not directly associated with a husband's migration. Conclusion: Older women were found to have a higher prevalence of HPV than younger women. It is possible that a husband's migration for work could be delaying HR-HPV infections in married women until an older age.
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    Author List

  • Johnson DC; Lhaki P; Bhatta MP; Kempf MC; Smith JS; Bhattarai P; Aryal S; Chamot E; Regmi K; Vermund SH
  • Start Page

  • 261
  • End Page

  • 268
  • Volume

  • 8
  • Issue

  • 4