Background: A human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use among women/girls in 2006. Since that time, limited research has examined HPV vaccine uptake among adolescent girls and no studies have examined the role of geographic disparities in HPV vaccination. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine geographic disparity in the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and to examine individual-, county-, and state-level correlates of vaccination. Methods: Three-level random intercept multilevel logistic regression models were fitted to data from girls aged 13-17 years living in six U.S. states using data from the 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the 2000 U.S. census. Results: Data from 1709 girls nested within 274 counties and six states were included. Girls were predominantly white (70.6%) and insured (74.5%). Overall, 34.4% of girls were vaccinated. Significant geographic disparity across states (variance=0.134, SE=0.065) and counties (variance=0.146, SE=0.063) was present, which was partially explained by state and county poverty levels. Independent of individual-level factors, poverty had differing effects at the state and county level: girls in states with higher levels of poverty were less likely whereas girls in counties with higher poverty levels were more likely to be vaccinated. Household income demonstrated a similar pattern to that of county-level poverty: Compared to girls in the highest-income families, girls in the lowest-income families were more likely to be vaccinated. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest geographic disparity in HPV vaccination. Although higher state-level poverty is associated with a lower likelihood of vaccination, higher county-level poverty and lower income at the family level is associated with a higher likelihood of vaccination. Research is needed to better understand these disparities and to inform interventions to increase vaccination among all eligible girls.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health