High-risk strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) that have been linked to cancer may also be associated with cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in Circulation Research, an American Heart Association journal. Women infected with high-risk HPV who have additional risk factors for heart disease — smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, for example — may be at the highest risk.
The study involved more than 63,000 Korean women over 30 who hadn’t been diagnosed with heart disease, 7 percent of whom had high-risk HPV. The researchers found that:
- Women with high-risk HPV were 22 percent more likely than uninfected women to develop heart disease
- Obese women had an increased risk level almost two-thirds higher
- Those with metabolic syndrome had nearly double the risk
Earlier studies have also linked high-risk HPV to self-reported heart attack and stroke in U.S. women. Worldwide, human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection, but it often goes undetected because it typically doesn’t cause symptoms. Certain strains of the virus raise risk for cervical cancer, cancer of the mouth and throat, and other cancers. HPV vaccines can lower your risk.
Sourced from: Circulation Research