Disease burden of human papillomavirus infection in the Netherlands, 1989–2014: the gap between females and males is diminishing

Scott A. McDonald*, Venetia Qendri, Johannes Berkhof, Hester E. de Melker, Johannes A. Bogaards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: Besides cervical cancer, HPV infection is linked to a multitude of diseases in both males and females, suggesting that vaccination programmes should be re-evaluated, with a judicious assessment made of the disease burden stratified by sex, age, and genotype. Projections of burden into the near future are also needed to provide a benchmark for evaluating the impact of vaccination programmes, and to assess the need for scaling-up preventive measures. Methods: Using the disability-adjusted life-years (DALY) measure, we estimated the total HPV-associated disease burden in the Netherlands. Annual cancer registrations over the period 1989–2014 for all cancers with an aetiological link to HPV infection were retrieved, supplemented by incidence data on high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and anogenital warts. Results: Over the recent period 2011–2014, the average annual HPV disease burden was 10,600 DALYs (95% credible interval (CrI):10,260–10,960) in females and 3,346 DALYs (95% CrI: 2,973–3,762) in males. Burden was dominated by cervical cancer, but its share amongst women decreased from 89% in 1989 to 77% in 2014. The male share of the total disease burden increased from 9.8% in 1989 to 26% in 2014. In 2023 (before the expected clinical impact from vaccinating girls), total burden is forecasted at 1.3-fold larger than in 2014. Conclusions: The HPV-associated disease burden is higher than that reported for any other infectious disease in the Netherlands, with a larger burden observed in women than in men. The rapidly rising male share of the total burden underlines the prioritization of male HPV-related disease in prevention programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-214
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

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