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Womens Health Rep (New Rochelle)


Background: With limited health data on Arab Americans (AAs), we sought to describe the health-seeking behaviors, prevalence of abnormal cervical cytology and high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) serotypes, and the relationship with socioeconomic factors among a subset of AA women.

Methods: Retrospective observational cohort study of women undergoing routine cancer screening at the Arab-American Center for Economic and Social Services clinic. Data collected included demographics, tobacco use, gross monthly income, prior Papanicolaou (Pap) smear history, and results of cervical cytology and high-risk HPV testing.

Results: Of 430 women, 74 (17%) reported that they had never had a Pap smear. Three hundred eighty-eight (90%) women had cervical cytology interpreted as "negative for intraepithelial lesion," the remaining 42 (10%) women had abnormal results. Thirteen (3%) women reported prior abnormal Pap smear, which was significantly associated with additional abnormal Pap smear on multivariable analyses (odds ratio 65.46; 95% confidence interval [CI] 17.01-338.62; p < 0.001). One hundred twenty-five (29%) women were tested for high-risk HPV serotypes; 106 (91%) had negative results, 4 (3%) were positive for HPV-16, 7 (6%) were positive for other high-risk serotypes, and 8 results were not recorded. A negative HPV screen was significantly associated with a negative Pap smear (Fisher's exact test p = 0.006). There was no significant association between abnormal cervical cytology and evaluated socioeconomic factors.

Conclusions: Additional population based-studies to determine cervical dysplasia/cancer and HPV prevalence in women of Middle Eastern descent are needed.

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