Background: We sought to identify the prevalence of and risk factors associated with cervical abnormalities among Chinese women in Hong Kong. Methods: A community-based cervical screening program was offered free of charge in Hong Kong. Information on the demographics, sexual experience, and obstetrical history of women who attended the Cervical Screening Clinic were collected and tabulated with their Pap smear results to establish the risk factors associated with cervical abnormalities among Hong Kong Chinese women. Results: A total of 44,219 women attended the Cervical Screening Clinic for their first Pap smear tests over an 8-year period, with the prevalence of cervical abnormality at 4.51%. Adjusted for all associating factors, the significant risk factors of cervical abnormalities identified among Hong Kong Chinese women are being aged 40-49 (odds ratio [OR] 1.53), being single (OR 1.52) or cohabiting (OR 1.52), having received primary school education only (OR 1.53), having had three or more sexual partners (OR 1.52), onset of sexual activity at age ≤18 (OR 1.53), having reported bleeding after intercourse (OR 1.44), and having had more than three pregnancies (OR 1.47). Condom use was identified as the single most significant protective factor reducing the risk of cervical abnormalities among these women (OR 0.76). Conclusions: This first population study in Hong Kong provides a better understanding of the risk factors associated with cervical abnormalities among Hong Kong Chinese women. A primary preventive strategy to reduce cervical cancer incidence should focus on modifying these preventable risk factors, complemented by population-based cervical screening programs to increase the coverage rate to 80% in the long term, together with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas