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Women with suspected HPV adverse effects more often suffered from psychiatric disorders prior to vaccination

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Posted September 20, 2017

Dizziness, headaches, fatigue and paralysis. These are what young girls and women describe as their symptoms when they are referred to one of the country’s five HPV centres. These centres have the task of examining and helping women with suspected adverse effects.

Research from Aarhus University shows that 29 per cent of the referred women over the age of 18 have been prescribed psychiatric medicine during the five-year period before the vaccination, while it is 17 per cent for HPV vaccinated women in general.

“We can see that the girls who are referred to the HPV centres went to their general practitioners more often and that they to a greater extent had received treatment for mental disorders before they were vaccinated compared to vaccinated girls in general. Hence, many of the referred girls stand out even before they are vaccinated,” explains PhD student and main author of the study, Tina Lützen from Aarhus University.

The results, which have just been published in the journal Clinical Epidemiology, are based on data from 1,496 girls and women who were referred to an HPV centre in 2015.

Which girls experience suspected adverse effects?

The researchers have investigated the use of psychiatric medicine such as ADHD medicine, anti-anxiety medicine, antidepressants and antipsychotics, as well as whether the women had been admitted to hospital with a psychiatric diagnoses such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and ADHD during the five-year period prior to being vaccinated.

“We hope that the study can contribute with greater knowledge about what characterises the girls who are referred due to suspected adverse effects following HPV vaccination. And although this is still only a small piece of the puzzle, we hope that this knowledge will be used in further research into the possible causes of why some girls experience symptoms after the HPV vaccine,” says Tina Lützen.

Dorte Rytter, who is associate professor at Aarhus University and the project’s principal supervisor, is surprised that the results are so clear, but at the same time she points to the very complex nature of the field.

“The results can increase our understanding of what other possible factors may play a role in the development of the symptoms experienced by these women. It is however also important to emphasise that the study cannot be used to draw any conclusions as to whether the vaccine plays a role in the development of the symptoms experienced,” says Dorte Rytter.

Source: Aarhus University

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