PHILADELPHIA A parent's existing health habits or behaviors, like cigarette smoking, may influence the likelihood that they will have their daughters vaccinated against HPV.
According to survey results on correlates of HPV vaccine use, whether parents would choose to vaccinate their daughters was not associated with one's background or medical history, but was more closely associated with certain behavioral factors of the parents.
Results of this survey are published in the February issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
"Whether or not respondents indicated that they would vaccinate their daughters against this cancer-causing virus was associated with physical activity, non-use of complementary or alternative therapies and, more surprisingly, cigarette smoking," said lead researcher Carolyn Y. Fang, Ph.D., associate professor in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia.
"Some prior research suggests that risky health behaviors tend to co-occur (i.e., smoking, alcohol use) and are associated with lower uptake of harm prevention strategies, such as vaccinations," noted Fang. "This was not the case in the current study. It may be that parents who are former or current smokers have a heightened awareness of cancer and its related risks, therefore, they may be more willing to vaccinate their daughters to prevent cancer."
National data on HPV vaccination rates indicate that only 37 percent of females aged 13 to 17 years have received at least one shot in the three-shot vaccine series, even though the vaccine has been FDA-approved since 2006 for use in females aged 9 to 26 years old.
While prior studies have mainly focused on patient knowledge, health beliefs and other medical or demographic variables, results of this survey are among the first to also examine multiple behavioral correlate
|Contact: Tara Yates|
American Association for Cancer Research