A new study published this week in the journal JAMA says that seven percent of the folks in the U.S. aged 14 to 69 have the virus that causes genital warts ... in their mouths! (Actually, the exact percentage rate is a apropos 6.9.)
Y'alls some freaky Americans, but here's the upshot:
More men than women actually have the human papillomavirus (HPV) in their, um, pie holes. A lot more: 10.1 percent versus 3.6.
So it looks like American guys are romantic (on bended knee and all that). Either that or we're gayer than previously thought.
Other strange stats from this study:
Those aged 60 to 64 had the rightest rate of mouth HPV (11.4 percent) of any age group. Yeah, granny's getting freaky. (You see, Demi, you still have good days ahead, so lay off the nitrous).
This, of course, we know. JAMA:
Prevalence of HPV was higher among current smokers and heavy alcohol drinkers and among former and current marijuana users.
Uh-huh. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.
In any case, the really bad news here is that the type of HPV in question is known to cause cancer. In fact the Debbie Downers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center who came up with this great news say the finding might explain why mouth and throat cancer has been on the rise for 25 years.
The study says:
The incidence of OSCC (oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas -- e.g. mouth and throat cancer) has significantly increased over the last 3 decades in several countries, and HPV has been directly implicated as the underlying cause.
The researchers recommend cancer screening and the ever-controversial HPV vaccine.
And, no, you can't get this from licking toilet seats, so don't even try that excuse. JAMA:
... Oral HPV infection is predominantly sexually transmitted.
But, hey guys, you can now use this data as an excuse to avoid ever having to get on your knees again.