O the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is 13% in women aged 35 to 65 years in La Rioja with inadequate screening for cervical cancer (CC); according to the conclusions of the doctoral thesis of Catalina Renata Elizalde Martínez Peñuela.

Developed at the University of La Rioja -as part of the 381D Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences program (Royal Decree 99/2011)-, this thesis was directed by José Antonio Oteo and Juana Hernández and obtained the outstanding qualification ‘cum laude’ with international mention .

He The objective of the doctoral thesis was to estimate the prevalence of infection by the different genotypes of HPV in 1,000 women, aged between 35 and 65 years, without previous cytology for 3 years or more and attended by the Health Service of Rioja (SERIS ) opportunistically; that is, having gone to the clinic asymptomatically for a routine checkup.

He The result shows an overall prevalence of 13% and a higher prevalence of the HR-HPV genotype than that of low or intermediate risk. The prevalence of infection with multiple HPV genotypes is average high (62.3%), which may be due to geographic, demographic differences or clinical factors.

there is one higher prevalence of HPV among young women compared to older ones; which is related to sexual habits, with a second peak of incidence being detected around menopause due to changes in sexual habits.

In his thesis, Dr. Catalina Renata Elizalde Martínez Peñuela highlights smoking and immunosuppression as higher risk factors for infection, as well as a higher prevalence among women of non-European nationality.

On the contrary, women who use condoms during sexual intercourse, menopausal patients and those who have one or more children are at lower risk of infection. On the other hand, gynecological comorbidity or geographic area of ​​residence were not detected as risk factors associated with abortion.


Cervical cancer (CC) is the fourth most common type of cancer in women worldwide and the third leading cause of death among gynecological cancers, after breast and endometrial cancer. Worldwide, 604,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

In Spain, CC is the most frequent in women, with an estimated annual incidence rate of 7.8 per 100,000 women; and is responsible for 1,100 deaths per year.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is highly infectious, with a broad incubation period of 3 weeks to months, or possibly years. Most patients who develop genital warts do so about 2 to 3 months after infection with BR genotypes.

About 90% of infected women develop an effective immune response and spontaneously regress within 12 months; the remaining 10% have an insufficient immune response and will have a persistent viral infection.