*A new study released shows that college-age African American women have a more difficult time clearing HPV than European-American women.

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The results were released at the American Association of Cancer Research’s annual 2012 meeting.

Black women are also most likely to have an abnormal pap test than European American women.

“African-American women are 40 percent more likely to get cervical cancer and are two times more likely to die from the disease than European-American women,” said study leader Kim E. Creek, Ph.D., vice chair and professor in the department of pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences in the South Carolina College of Pharmacy at the University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C.

“Most women infected with high-risk HPV clear the infection within nine to 18 months,” said Creek. “However, high-risk HPV can persist in some women who are much more likely to have abnormal Pap tests and to develop cervical cancer. We propose that an increase in high-risk HPV persistence in African-American women may provide a biological basis for the higher incidence of cervical cancer found in African-American women.

Read more about this groundbreaking study here.