Detection of mutagens in cervical mucus in smokers and nonsmokers

Elizabeth A. Holly, Rosemary D Cress, David K. Ahn, Diana A. Aston, Jennifer J. Kristiansen, Rebekah Wu, James S. Felton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The Salmonella mutagenicity test was used to analyze cervical mucus specimens from 364 smokers and 333 nonsmokers to determine whether the association between smoking and mutagenic cervical mucus that we reported previously among women diagnosed with dysplasia would apply to a larger group of healthy women (E. A. Holly et al., J. Natl. Cancer Inst., 76: 983-986, 1986). Women smokers and nonsmokers between the ages of 18 and 49 who attended eleven clinics and physicians' offices in the San Francisco Bay area for a routine Pap smear were examined to determine whether smokers were more likely to have mutagenic substances in their cervical mucus. About 4% of smokers and 8% of nonsmokers had positive mutagenicity test results (P = 0.02). Cervical mucus with a large number of microorganisms was more likely to have a positive mutagenicity test result than that with fewer microorganisms (test for trend, P = 0.01). Mutagenicity results varied by race and clinic location but were not associated with smoking behavior, sexual behavior, gynecological diagnosis, or diet. Further work is needed to develop methods to detect mutagens in specific body fluids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-228
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


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