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This study was initiated to investigate the role of past herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection, as determined by serum antibody analysis, in the etiology of cervical neoplasia. Two Finnish registers, the registry of the Social Insurance Institution's Mobile Clinic Survey and the Finnish Cancer Registry, were linked. About 40,000 blood samples were drawn in 1968-72 and stored by the Social Insurance Institution. According to the Cancer Registry, 32 cases of cervical carcinoma or carcinoma in situ for which serum samples were available were diagnosed in this cohort during a follow-up of 12 years (1968-81). The serum samples of these individuals and age matched controls (2:1) from the cohort were analyzed for HSV-2 antibodies. HSV-2 infection as determined by the best available HSV-2 type-specific antibody assay, glycoprotein gG2-ELISA, was not related to cervical neoplasia, i.e., the risk of cervical neoplasia among the HSV-2 positive women was not higher than that among the negative ones (smoking-adjusted relative risk = 0.5, 95 percent confidence interval = 0.2-1.6). The results do not support the hypothesis that HSV-2 is an etiologic agent for cervical neoplasia.


Journal article


Cancer Causes Control

Publication Date





333 - 338


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Carcinoma in Situ, Female, Finland, Follow-Up Studies, Herpes Simplex, Humans, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Smoking, Uterine Cervical Neoplasms