Plasma ascorbic acid and beta-carotene levels in women evaluated for
HPV infection, smoking, and cervix dysplasia.
Basu J; Palan PR; Vermund SH; Goldberg GL; Burk RD; Romney SL
Cancer Detect Prev 1991;15(3):165-70
The association of the plasma
levels of the essential micronutrients, ascorbic acid and beta-carotene,
with smoking and human papillomaviruses (HPV) infection has been studied
in 75 women referred to a colposcopy clinic for an abnormal Pap smear.
Each patient had a repeat Pap smear and a colposcopically directed biopsy
of a visually perceived cervix abnormality. Cervicovaginal lavage specimen
and peripheral venous blood sample were obtained for HPV DNA hybridization
studies and nutrient analyses, respectively. Samples were obtained and
analyzed without knowledge of each woman's clinical status. A group of
45 subjects had histopathologically diagnosed dysplasias of varying grades
of severity. Among women with dysplasias, 53.3% were smokers. Of subjects
with and of subjects without dysplasias, 66 and 34%, respectively, were
positive for HPV infection. The mean plasma reduced ascorbic acid, retinol,
and beta-carotene levels between the dysplastic groups were comparable.
A strong association with smoking history and plasma reduced ascorbic
acid level was note independent of cervical dysplasias or HPV status.
The findings underscore the importance of smoking, ascorbic acid, and
beta-carotene as nutritional variables, and HPV infection in the pathogenesis
of cervical dysplasias.