Higher risk of HPV infection because of drinking habit

Alcohol drinking may be linked with HPV infection somehow as the person drinking much alcohol is subjected to bigger risk then. This conclusion was made during the research of the Moffitt Cancer Center.

HPV infection or human papillomavirus is a virus transmitted sexually. The frequency rate in the USA is 6 million cases of newly infected patients annually. Genital warts are formed as a result of this disease. Both men and women suffer from the problem. Human papillomavirus is very widespread and also leads to cancer. To be more exact, it is the contributing factor of cancer as genital warts can cause it. There are more than 100 types of HPV, while just 10% of them can bring to different forms of cancer such as vaginal, cervical, anal and etc. The latest research work has revealed the cases of oropharyngeal, anal, penile cancer provoked by HPV infection in men. But there is not enough information about the epidemiology mechanisms of this type of infection. The biological links are not clear enough and this does not let the specialists see the whole picture to perform more complete examination.

During the Moffitt research the task was to make the analysis of risks for patients diagnosed with HPV. 1,300 participants of the research that took place in Florida had to confirm the diagnosis first with DNA analysis and then the comprehensive study was performed that worked with such facts as smoking, alcohol consumption and sexual life. The research that was conducted was just a little part of big study – HIM Study.

As a result, the conclusion was made that persons who drink alcohol more are subjected to higher risk of HPV regardless of the number of sex partners of participants. That means that higher amount of alcohol in the organism of the person, probably, deteriorates the immune responses thus bringing to bigger risk of chronic infection.

Alcohol is also able to prevent the responses of the organism therefore the patient becomes more vulnerable to attacks of viruses and bacteria, attracting undesirable infections that start thriving in the organism that is not able to protect itself. The immune system becomes weaker even if you consume just a little alcohol. This adverse effect can turn out badly for a person and have serious consequences.

On the basis of our research we can determine the damaging effect of alcohol and the importance of a person to refuse from bad habits such as drinking, smoking, unsafe sex and etc. It is necessary to study the problem further prior to clinical interventions, in the opinion of Matthew Schabath Ph.D, who contributed to this work. It was fulfilled within the frames of the project “Cancer Epidemiology Program”.

If you want to learn more you can apply to the original publication that appeared in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections. National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health provided a grant for this research.