Socioeconomic characteristics of patients with oropharyngeal carcinoma according to tumor HPV status, patient smoking status, and sexual behavior.
OBJECTIVES: Patients with oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) have distinct risk factor profiles reflected in the human papillomavirus (HPV) status of their tumor, and these profiles may also be influenced by factors related to socioeconomic status (SES). The goal of this study was to describe the socioeconomic characteristics of a large cohort of patients with OPC according to HPV status, smoking status, and sexual behavior. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with OPC prospectively provided information about their smoking and alcohol use, socioeconomic characteristics, and sexual behaviors. HPV status was determined by a composite of immunohistochemistry for p16 expression, HPV in situ hybridization, and PCR assay in 356 patients. Standard descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used to compare socioeconomic characteristics between patient subgroups. RESULTS: Patients with HPV-positive OPC had higher levels of education, income, and overall SES. Among patients with HPV-positive OPC, never/light smokers had more than 5 times the odds of having at least a bachelor's degree and being in the highest level of SES compared with smokers. Patients with HPV-positive OPC and those with higher levels of education and SES had higher numbers of lifetime any and oral sex partners, although not all of these differences were significant. CONCLUSION: Socioeconomic differences among subgroups of OPC patients have implications for OPC prevention efforts, including tobacco cessation, behavior modification, and vaccination programs.
Dahlstrom, KR; Bell, D; Hanby, D; Li, G; Wang, L-E; Wei, Q; Williams, MD; Sturgis, EM
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