Social Determinants of Health and Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Among Young Adults, National Health Interview Survey 2016


Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has the potential to reduce the burden of anogenital cancers. Vaccine uptake remains suboptimal, especially among young adults. Social determinants of health (SDOH) are societal level conditions that may indirectly influence health behaviors, including HPV vaccination. The purpose of this study was to assess HPV vaccination and SDOH among young adult women and men. The 2016 National Health Interview Survey was restricted to participants ages 18–26 (n = 3593). The Healthy People 2020 SDOH Framework was used to identify variables for economic stability, health and healthcare, education, social and community context, and neighborhood and built environment. Survey-weighted logistic regression models identified SDOH variables significantly associated with HPV vaccination. Reported HPV vaccination occurred for 45.7% of women and 14.5% of men in the sample. Among women, education determinants—highest level of education completed and English language—were significantly associated with HPV vaccination. Men (adjusted OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.54, 0.79) and women (adjusted OR 0.66, 95% CI 0.49, 0.90) who did not use the Internet to look up health information were at lower odds to be vaccinated for HPV. These findings can inform future HPV vaccine uptake efforts by focusing specifically on these SDOH areas—education and health and healthcare. Identifying SDOH leverage points is critical to promoting HPV vaccination and ultimately reducing HPV-associated cancers.

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This paper is the result of the authors’ analyses, interpretations, and conclusions, and not NCHS, which is responsible for the initial data. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Correspondence to Erika L. Thompson.

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Thompson, E.L., Rosen, B.L. & Maness, S.B. Social Determinants of Health and Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Among Young Adults, National Health Interview Survey 2016. J Community Health 44, 149–158 (2019).

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  • HPV vaccination
  • Social determinants of health
  • Young adult
  • Primary prevention
  • Cancer