Determinants of Sexual Activity and Its Relation to Cervical Cancer Risk among South African Women


Show simple item record Cooper, Diane en_US Hoffman, Margaret en_US Carrara, Henri en_US Rosenberg, Lynn en_US Kelly, Judy en_US Stander, Ilse en_US Denny, Lynnette en_US Williamson, Anna-Lise en_US Shapiro, Samuel en_US 2012-01-12T17:42:25Z 2012-01-12T17:42:25Z 2007 en_US 2007-11-27 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Cooper, Diane, Margaret Hoffman, Henri Carrara, Lynn Rosenberg, Judy Kelly, Ilse Stander, Lynnette Denny, Anna-Lise Williamson, Samuel Shapiro. "Determinants of sexual activity and its relation to cervical cancer risk among South African Women" BMC Public Health 7:341. (2007) en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1471-2458 en_US
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND. Invasive cervical cancer is the commonest cause of cancer morbidity and mortality in South African women. This study provides information on adult women's sexual activity and cervical cancer risk in South Africa. METHODS. The data were derived from a case-control study of hormonal contraceptives and cervical cancer risk. Information on age of sexual debut and number of lifetime sexual partners was collected from 524 incident cases and 1541 hospital controls. Prevalence ratios and adjusted prevalence ratios were utilised to estimate risk in exposures considered common. Crude and adjusted relative risks were estimated where the outcome was uncommon, using multiple logistic regression analysis. RESULTS. The median age of sexual debut and number of sexual partners was 17 years and 2 respectively. Early sexual debut was associated with lower education, increased number of life time partners and alcohol use. Having a greater number of sexual partners was associated with younger sexual debut, being black, single, higher educational levels and alcohol use. The adjusted odds ratio for sexual debut < 16 years and ≥ 4 life-time sexual partners and cervical cancer risk were 1.6 (95% CI 1.2 – 2.2) and 1.7 (95% CI 1.2 – 2.2), respectively. CONCLUSION. Lower socio-economic status, alcohol intake, and being single or black, appear to be determinants of increased sexual activity in South African women. Education had an ambiguous effect. As expected, cervical cancer risk is associated with increased sexual activity. Initiatives to encourage later commencement of sex, and limiting the number of sexual partners would have a favourable impact on risk of cancer of the cervix and other sexually transmitted infections. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship National Cancer Institute (R01 CA 73985) en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher BioMed Central en_US
dc.rights Copyright 2007 Cooper et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.title Determinants of Sexual Activity and Its Relation to Cervical Cancer Risk among South African Women en_US
dc.type article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1186/1471-2458-7-341 en_US
dc.identifier.pubmedid 18042284 en_US
dc.identifier.pmcid 2228293 en_US

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