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HPV May Be The Link To Higher Cervical Cancers Rates For African-American Women

HPV May Be The Link To Higher Cervical Cancers Rates For African-American Women
4/2/2012 4:16 PM ET

A new study carried out by researchers at the National Cancer Institute potentially shed new light on why African-American women are far more likely to contract and die of cervical cancer than white women. According to lead researcher Worta McCaskill-Stevens, the key may lie in a diminished ability to ward off HPV.

African-American women are 40 percent more likely to contract cervical cancer than white women and that disparity was previously thought to have been from a lack of screening. After screening groups of black and white women at the University of South Carolina, however, it was found that black women were 1.5 times more likely to contract some form of HPV.

Those who contracted the virus also held on to it for an average of 18 months, as compared to 12 months for white women.

"The African-American women weren't clearing the virus as fast. They were actually holding onto it about six months longer," says Stevens in a news release.

She adds that it could be a genetic difference adding: "We have known there are genetic differences between the races."

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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