HPV and Arthritis in Mexican Woman

HPV associated with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis in Hispanic women

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Lately, the question around human papillomavirus (HPV) is whether adolescent girls should be required to get vaccinated. While some girls and parents may opt out of vaccination, others might think twice if they knew their risk was high.

HPV infection is common among Mexican women with lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

"Ask your doctor about HPV vaccination."

HPV infection can cause changes to the cells in a woman's cervix, a condition known as cervical dysplasia. Cervical dysplasia puts women at risk of cervical cancer.

Part of preventing the spread of HPV is knowing who is at risk of the infection. Past studies have looked at rates of HPV among women of different races with lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Yet, the rate of HPV infection in Hispanic women is still unknown.

In a recent study, Dr. Laura Gonzalez-Lopez, from the Department of Internal Medicine at IMSS in Guadalajara, Mexico, and colleagues set out to measure rates of HPV infection among Mexican women with lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

For their study, the researchers looked at 34 women with lupus, 43 with rheumatoid arthritis, and 146 healthy controls.

They found that 14.7 percent of lupus patients and 27.9 percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients had been infected by HPV.

Even though the rate of HPV infection was higher among women without lupus or rheumatoid arthritis (30.8 percent), it is important to note that rates of HPV infection were still high among those with lupus or arthritis.

Women with rheumatoid arthritis had the highest rates (27.9 percent) of high-risk forms of HPV, while 11.7 percent of lupus patients were exposed to high-risk forms of HPV.

Twenty-six percent of the healthy controls had high-risk HPV infection.

The researchers found that certain medications may play a role in HPV infection. The use of methotrexate (sold as Rheumatrex and Trexall) and long-term use of prednisone (sold as Deltasone and Liquid Pred among others) was associated with HPV infection among women with lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

The authors conclude that their findings suggest doctors should be watchful in order to prevent HPV infection and cellular changes in their patients with lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

The study is published in the journal Lupus.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
March 21, 2012
Last Updated:
May 3, 2013