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expert reaction to study looking at HPV vaccine safety in adult women in Sweden and Denmark

In a new multi cohort study, researchers publishing in the Journal of Internal Medicine report that in more than 3 million Danish and Swedish adult women, the human papillomavirus (HPC) vaccine was not linked with 44 serious chronic diseases.


Dr David Elliman, Consultant in Community Child Health and RCPCH (Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health) paediatrician, said:

“In the UK we do not routinely recommended HPV vaccine for anyone other than schoolgirls.  However as the price of the vaccine comes down, consideration may be given to using it in young adult women.  In that context, this study is extremely reassuring.  Immunisation histories of over 5 million of young adult women in Denmark and Sweden were linked with their medical histories.  No evidence was found of a causal link between HPV and any of the 45 diseases – this is very reassuring and is in keeping with the evidence of safety in schoolgirls.  The authors report an association with increased coeliac disease only in women in Denmark (not in Sweden), but they suggest this is likely to be due to increased awareness in people with pre-existing coeliac disease that hadn’t been diagnosed (it is underdiagnosed in Denmark).”


* ‘Human papillomavirus vaccination of adult women and risk of autoimmune and neurological diseases’ by A. Hviid et al. will be published in the Journal of Internal Medicine at 05:01 UK time on Wednesday 18 October 2017, which is also when the embargo will lift. 


Declared interests

None received.

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