Diet, exercise and HPV infection

Until now, most studies on human papillomavirus (HPV) risk factors focus on sexual factors or gynecological infections in women; However, what role do healthy lifestyle habits and general well-being play in the development of the disease?

Now, a study published in ‘Sec. Gynecological Oncology’ has investigated the association between physical activity, a good diet, sleep quality, depression and anxiety, and the risk of HPV infection, a virus that can cause different types of cancer, including cervical cancer. .

The study, co-authored by Dr. Yantao Li (of China-based genetic testing provider BGI Genomics), shows that two lifestyle factors appear to be significantly associated with HPV infection: physical activity and exercise. dietary balance. Meanwhile, current disease or history of disease does not significantly correlate with HPV.

A total of 495 women between the ages of 18 and 59 were recruited through an ‘eHealth’ digital platform in Shenzhen, China, and were assessed for physical activity, dietary balance, and HPV infection using questionnaires and HPV genotyping assay.

lifestyle factors

Physical activity was assessed using self-reported questionnaires, in which participants were asked about the frequency and duration of their physical activity in the past year. These data were used to classify the participants into three levels of physical activity: low, moderate, and high. The high activity group included women who reported doing more than 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or more than 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week.

As expected, patients with a high activity level physique were less likely to be infected with HPV compared to participants with a low level of physical activity. This suggests that regular physical activity may have a protective effect against HPV infection.

Dietary balance was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire. These data were used to calculate each participant’s Dietary Diversity Score (DDS), which is a measure of the variety of different food groups consumed. A higher DDS indicates a more balanced diet.

The study revealed that the prevalence of HPV infection was significantly lower in women with a higher DDS than in women with a lower DDS. This suggests that a diet with a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables and a lower consumption of fats and sugars may have a protective effect against HPV infection.

Balance between physical activity and diet according to HPV serotypes

In terms of HPV serotypes, the prevalence ratios implied 80.66 percent high-risk HPV, 13.81 percent intermediate-risk HPV, and 5.52 percent low-risk HPV. HPV 52 had the highest prevalence (19.89%) of high-risk HPVs, followed by HPV 16 (11.05%), HPV 51 (9.39%), and HPV 18 (4.42%). .

Most HPV infections were due to a single HPV serotype (83%), and dietary balance was the most significant difference between single and multiple HPV infections. Therefore, the authors recommend two solutions to improve the balance of the diet. One is to ensure adequate consumption of dairy products and animal foods with vitamin A. Another is to eat more fruits (for example, tomatoes) or vegetables.

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