Purpose: The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of pubertal timing, and its interaction with prior childhood maltreatment, on the risk of cervical human papillomavirus (HPV) among sexually active adolescent minority female adolescents and young adults. Methods: This cross-sectional study includes 842 adolescent girls and young women (aged 12 to 20 years; predominately Black and Hispanic) enrolled in an HPV vaccine surveillance study at a large adolescent health clinic in New York City between 2007 and 2016. Pubertal timing was assessed by self-reported age at menarche at baseline, with “early” and “late” defined as one standard deviation below (<11 years) or above (>13 years) the mean. Childhood exposure to abuse (sexual, physical and emotional) and neglect (physical and emotional) was assessed using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Over 40 types of HPV infection were detected using the polymerase chain reaction in cervical Pap specimens. Results: Results from multivariable logistic regression showed that early and late pubertal timing were marginally associated with a higher risk of HPV infection, adjusting for demographic and health covariates. Childhood maltreatment moderated the association between early pubertal timing and HPV infection: early pubertal timing was associated with a higher risk for HPV infection among maltreated girls (OR = 3.32, 95%CI:1.61–6.85), but not among non-maltreated girls (OR = 0.96, 95%CI:0.61–1.50; p-interaction<0.01). Conclusions: Variation in the timing of puberty and history of childhood maltreatment may have implications for adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Findings suggest that clinicians need to assess the biological and psychosocial risks in caring for youth.
- United States