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The age at which girls reach sexual maturity is influenced by imprinted genes, a small subset of genes with differing activity depending on which parent pass them on, according to new research published in the journal Nature. The findings come from an international study of more than 180,000 women involving scientists from 166 institutions worldwide, including the Boston University schools of public health and medicine. The researchers identified 123 genetic variations that were associated with the timing of when girls experienced their first menstrual cycle by analyzing the DNA of 182,416 women of European descent from 57 studies. Six of
Minority women who received the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination even after becoming sexually active had lower rates of abnormal Pap test results than those who were never vaccinated, according to a study in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Researchers from BU schools of public health and medicine conducted a cross-sectional study of 235 women, ages 21 to 30, undergoing routine cervical cytology testing. HPV status and demographic and behavioral characteristics were self-reported and verified with electronic medical records. “Although data clearly indicate better immune responses and vaccine efficacy against both genital warts and cervical dysplasia when vaccination occurs before age
Universal health coverage and changes in the way Massachusetts funds clinics that test for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have led to a shift in patients accessing testing that has both positive and negative implications, a study led by BU researchers says. The study, published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases and led by Mari-Lynn Drainoni, associate professor of health policy and management at BUSPH, found that reductions in state funding and the imposition of fees at STI clinics in 2009 led to a 20 percent decrease in clinic visits. At the same time, STI visits to primary care providers doubled,