Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Are Muslim women less susceptible to oncogenic human papillomavirus infection? A study from rural eastern India
  1. C. Duttagupta*,
  2. S. Sengupta*,
  3. M. Roy*,
  4. D. Sengupta,
  5. P. Bhattacharya*,
  6. P. Laikangbam*,,
  7. S. Roy§,
  8. S. Ghosh and
  9. R. Das**
  1. * Biochemistry Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta
  2. Statistics and Mathematics Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta
  3. § Quadra Diagnostic Centre, Calcutta
  4. Gynecological Service, Cancer Centre and Welfare Home, Thakurpukur, West Bengal, India
  5. ** Consultant Gynecologist, Child in Need Institute, Daulatpur, West Bengal, India
  6. Lady Tata Junior Fellow, 2001–2002 at Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta, West Bengal, India.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: C. Duttagupta, PhD, Biochemistry Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, 203 B.T. Road, Calcutta 700 108, West Bengal, India. Email: chandra{at}


Muslim women are known to have lower incidences of cervical cancer and/or human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Here we aim to determine any association that may be present between the oncogenic HPV16/18 infections and abnormal cytological lesions along with demographic and other attributes among Indian Muslim women (n = 478) and compare with the neighboring Hindus (n = 534) from a prospective cohort study. Agewise distribution of both subject-groups is similar. HPV16/18 infection is present in 9.6% Muslims and 7.5% Hindu women. Jointly atypical cells of undetermined significance (a typical cells of undetermined significance) and HPV16/18 are present in seven Muslim and two Hindu women. No high squamous intraepithelial lesions or cervical cancer is detected at the baseline. HPV16/18 infections show trends that varied with age, a nonlinear trend among Muslim women. In Hindu women the prevalence is highest at age ≤24 years, which linearly drops with increasing age. Abnormal cytology increases significantly in both religion-groups with increasing age. The data show that these Indian Muslim women are equally susceptible to HPV16/18 infection and for the development of abnormal cytology. There is a paucity in epidemiological data, which justifies the need to screen women of all religions for cervical cancer (that includes oncogenic HPV testing).

  • abnormal cytology
  • cervical cancer screening
  • cervical erosion
  • Muslim women
  • oncogenic human papillomavirus infection

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.