ABSTRACT The goal of our study was to describe the age-specific distribution of HPV genotypes and related disease among females under the age of 25 years. A prospective cohort study was carried out. We enrolled 85 young females aged 16 - 25 years (30 aged 16 - 19 and 55 aged 20 - 25 years) referred to our colposcopic unit after a repeated abnormal Pap smear result. Every patient underwent an HPV DNA testing, a colposcopy and eventually a cervical biopsy. Participants were proposed to follow-up or treatment on request. Treatment was performed by destructive or excisional laser CO2 therapy. Data were analyzed by Fisher’s Exact test. The overall prevalence of low-risk HPV amounted to 80% among 16 - 19-year-old girls, while the overall prevalence of high-risk HPV was 85.5% among 20 - 25-year-old patients. The univariate analysis of chosen characteristics of HPV-disease demonstrates the statistically significative difference of this infection between the two groups of age (P < 0.005). We observed a particular age-specific stratification of HPV genotypes and related disease, which appeared to be characterized by a cut-off at the age of 20 years. According to our data, cervical screening program in Italy seems to start later than the beginning of HPV-related pathology.
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