We tested the hypothesis that states with higher rates of cancers associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) would have lower HPV vaccine coverage. METHODS: We gathered state-level data on HPV-related cancer rates and HPV vaccine initiation coverage for girls and boys, separately, and HPV vaccine follow-through (i.e., receipt of 3 doses among those initiating the series) for girls only. In addition, we gathered state-level data on demographic composition and contact with the health care system. We calculated Pearson correlations for these ecological relationships. RESULTS: Human papillomavirus vaccine initiation among girls was lower in states with higher levels of cervical cancer incidence and mortality (r =-0.29 and-0.46, respectively). In addition, vaccine follow-through among girls was lower in states with higher levels of cervical cancer mortality (r =-0.30). Other cancer rates were associated with HPV vaccine initiation and follow-through among girls, but not among boys. Human papillomavirus vaccine initiation among girls was lower in states with higher proportions of non-Hispanic black residents and lower proportions of higher-income residents. Human papillomavirus vaccine follow-through was higher in states with greater levels of adolescents' contact with the health care system. CONCLUSIONS: Human papillomavirus vaccine coverage for girls was lower in states with higher HPV-related cancer rates. Public health efforts should concentrate on geographic areas with higher cancer rates. Strengthening adolescent preventive health care use may be particularly important to increase vaccine follow-through. Cost-effectiveness analyses may overestimate the benefits of current vaccination coverage and underestimate the benefits of increasing coverage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases