Drug use disorder linked to cervical cancer in women: Study
Sweden: Drug use disorders (DUD) in women increases the risk of incident cervical cancer but not fatal cervical cancer, finds a recent study in the journal Gynecologic Oncology.
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women globally. People with DUD including active drug use as well as opioid substitution treatment (OST) are at increased risk for a number of adverse health outcomes be it drug-related or non-drug related, blood-borne infections, and mortality.
There is a limited research on the potential associations between DUD and cervical cancer incidence and mortality. Therefore, the aim of this study by Disa Dahlman, Centrum för primärvårdsforskning, Clinical Research Center, Malmö, Sweden, and colleagues, was to investigate cervical cancer incidence and mortality among women with DUD compared to the general female population in Sweden.
For the purpose, the researchers conducted a cohort study based on Swedish national register data for the period January 1997–December 2015. They collected data from 3,838,248 women aged 15–75 years of whom 50,858 had DUD. Using Cox regression analysis, adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for incident and fatal cervical cancer were calculated for women with and without DUD.
The researchers found that after adjusting for age, educational attainment, social welfare, region of residence, marital status and HIV infection, DUD was significantly associated with incident cervical cancer (HR = 1.39), but not fatal cervical cancer (HR = 1.25).
"Our findings indicate that women with DUD should be given attention from clinicians and policy makers. This could be due to non-attendence of women with DUD in cervical cancer screening programs and other healthcare seeking barriers may affect the risk of incident cervical cancer but more research is needed for this topic," concluded the authors.
"Cervical cancer among Swedish women with drug use disorders: A nationwide epidemiological study," is published in the journal Gynecologic Oncology.