Main Article Content
Objective: Cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer among women in Oman. Although it can be detected early in the premalignant stages, there is as yet no national program for cervical cancer screening. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of cytological abnormalities in Papanicolaou (Pap) smears and related risk factors among Omani women. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from March to December 2019 at the gynecology and family medicine clinics of Khoula Hospital and Sultan Qaboos University Hospital in Muscat. All asymptomatic Omani women aged between 21–65 years were included. Data regarding the participants’ sociodemographic characteristics and known risk factors were collected using a selfreported sheet. Pap smears were performed and the results reported by a cytotechnologist and histopathologist. Results: A total of 442 women participated in the study (response rate: 100%). The mean age was 39.0 ± 9.7 years old. The prevalence of cervical cytological abnormalities was 3.7%. There was a significant association between human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and cervical cell abnormalities ( p = 0.017); however, there was no link with hormonal contraception use, pregnancy before the age of 17 years or parity ( p >0.050 each). Conclusions: The prevalence of cervical cell abnormalities in Oman was similar to that observed in Arab countries and relatively low in comparison to findings from Western countries. A screening program should be implemented at the primary care level. Moreover, the findings of this study highlight the need for a future vaccination program against HPV infections.
Keywords: Cervical Cancer; Screening; Cytological Abnormalities; Pap Smear; Human Papillomavirus; Oman.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.