Reports of abnormal cervical cancer screening tests in systemic sclerosis
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OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of abnormal cervical cancer screening (Pap tests) reported by women with SSc onset before the age of 50 yrs. METHODS: Female members of a Canadian multi-centre SSc cohort completed standardized assessments and were questioned regarding a history of an abnormal Pap test. Potential correlates examined included demographics, reproductive history, smoking, diffuse vs limited SSc type, immunosuppressant exposure and SSc duration. RESULTS: In the 320 women with SSc onset before the age of 50 yrs, the life-time prevalence of an abnormal Pap test (according to self-report) was 25.4% (95% CI CI 20.9, 30.4%). By comparison, self-reported prevalence of abnormal Pap tests among general population Canadian females was recently reported at 13.8% (95% CI 11.6, 16.4%). Women with diffuse SSc (n = 142), tended to have a higher prevalence of self-reported cervical dysplasia (31.7%) compared with those with limited disease (20.7%), but the CIs overlapped. A multivariate logistic regression found a significant positive association between self-reported abnormal Pap test and diffuse disease [odds ratio (OR) 1.87; 95% CI 1.01, 3.47]. An independent association of an abnormal Pap test with smoking (OR 2.43; 95% CI 1.23, 4.78) and with younger age at disease onset was also noted. CONCLUSIONS: We noted a high prevalence of abnormal Pap tests self-reported in our sample. Increased risk was seen among those with diffuse SSc, and also among smokers and those with a younger age at disease onset. Thus, it seems prudent to ensure that adequate attention is paid to cervical cancer screening for women with SSc.
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