Awareness of human papillomavirus in a cohort of nearly 70,000 women from four Nordic countries

Bugge Nøhr, Christian Munk, Laufey Tryggvadottir, Par Sparén, Trung N. Tran, Mari Nygård, Gry B. Skare, Erik Dasbach, Kai L. Liaw, Susanne K. Kjaer

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    20 Scopus citations


    Objective. To assess the fraction of women who have heard of human papillomavirus (HPV) in four Nordic countries (Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) and to study the correlates of this awareness, just before the vaccines were released. Design. Population-based cross-sectional study by means of a questionnaire. Setting. Denmark 2004-2005. Population. A total of 69,147 women participated (participation rate of 65%) in the study. Methods. A random sample of women from the general female population (18-45 years) in Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden were invited to answer a self-administered questionnaire regarding HPV and lifestyle habits. Main outcome measures. Having heard of HPV. Results. Overall, a total of 32.6% had ever heard about HPV. Respectively, only 25.1% of Danish women, 33.0% Norwegian women, 32.5% Swedish women, and 41.0% Icelandic women had heard about HPV. The most important correlates associated with ever having heard of HPV were a history of genital warts (odds ratios, OR=2.57; 99% confidence intervals, CI: 2.38-2.76) and educational level (OR=2.06; 99% CI: 1.92-2.21). Other correlates associated with awareness of HPV were being single during pregnancy, never having been pregnant, former use of hormonal contraceptives and condom use. Conclusions. Our data suggest that at least two-thirds of Nordic women have never heard of HPV. These data are important for developing and evaluating strategies to inform and educate the population about HPV infection and disease.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1048-1054
    Number of pages7
    JournalActa Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
    Issue number10
    StatePublished - Oct 20 2008


    • Cervical cancer
    • Cohort study
    • HPV awareness
    • HPV infection
    • HPV vaccination

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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    Nøhr, B., Munk, C., Tryggvadottir, L., Sparén, P., Tran, T. N., Nygård, M., Skare, G. B., Dasbach, E., Liaw, K. L., & Kjaer, S. K. (2008). Awareness of human papillomavirus in a cohort of nearly 70,000 women from four Nordic countries. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 87(10), 1048-1054.