October 29, 2014

Oral HPV Risk and Cigarette Smoking

The Journal of the American Medical Association has published a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health that found cigarette smokers more likely to be positive for human papillomavirus (HPV)-16 compared with non-smokers.  A total of over 6,800 adults ages 18 to 59 were tested for HPV and recent nicotine use by measuring their blood and urine samples.

Smokers of at least three cigarettes per day have a 31% increased risk of HPV infection as a result of raised levels of a metabolite of nicotine called cotinine.  2% of tobacco users were infected with HPV while less that 1% of non-smokers were. The concern is that because of the fact that as few as three daily cigarettes increases the risk of HPV by one third, and the fact that oral HPV is a virus that can trigger throat and mouth cancers, the combination of the two means a higher risk of cancer also.

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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