Objective. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is reported to be related to carcinogenesis in the uterine cervix. In Japan, screening for cervical cancer by cytology is performed in women over 30 years old. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is an association between patient age and cervical neoplasia or HPV infection in Japanese women. Methods. Specimens from 881 randomly selected patients who came to our clinic were tested for HPV DNA by using Hybrid Capture II, whereas specimens from a 204-patient randomly selected subset diagnosed with cervical neoplasia were tested for HPV DNA by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). HPV typing was performed in all the PCR-positive cases. Results. The HPV-positive rate in the 20- to 29-year-old patients (29.0% in the normal cytology/histology group and 85.5% in the abnormal group) was higher than in the 30- to 59-year-old patients, and the rate declined until age 60 when age increased. While HPV 18, HPV 52, other HPV types, and HPV types as a whole were frequently detected in 30- to 49-year-old patients, HPV 16 was detected more frequently in the younger group than the other HPV types (P = 0.03). Among the HPV 16-positive patients with cervical neoplasia, the proportion of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 3 cases was high (44%) in the 20- to 29-year-old group. Conclusions. Screening for cervical neoplasia by cytology should also be performed in women under 30 years old in Japan. The HPV typing could be a tool to strictly follow-up younger women who were diagnosed with CIN.
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