Human papillomavirus (HPV) Linked To Increased Risk Of Heart Disease Among Women

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A recent study by the European Society of Cardiology found that women with high-risk strains of HPV have a significantly higher risk of dying from heart attacks or strokes, up to four times more likely. This research is the first to link HPV infections with increased mortality from cardiovascular diseases.

Various HPV stains can cause heart disease

The study examined 163,250 Korean women who were initially free of cardiovascular diseases and aged young or middle-aged. They underwent regular health screenings, including tests for 13 high-risk HPV strains, over an average period of eight and a half years.

Researchers analyzed HPV test results in women and correlated them with national cardiovascular mortality data, finding that while the overall risk of cardiovascular death was low in the relatively young and healthy group studied, the presence of high-risk HPV significantly increased this risk.

Women with high-risk HPV strains have significantly elevated risks of artery blockage, heart disease-related death, and stroke mortality compared to those without the infection, according to research findings.

Despite progress in managing common risk factors like smoking, high cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes, heart disease remains a significant cause of death, according to Professor Seungho Ryu from Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine. Surprisingly, around 20% of heart disease cases occur in individuals without these conventional risk factors, emphasizing the importance of exploring other modifiable risk factors. Professor Ryu’s research is centered on investigating the potential impact of HPV on cardiovascular mortality as a potential risk factor for heart disease.

Obesity and high-risk HPV infection increases cardiovascular risk

Research indicates that the co-occurrence of high-risk HPV infection and obesity intensifies the associated risks. Professor Hae Suk Cheong underscores the significant role of inflammation in cardiovascular disease progression, suggesting viral infections as potential inflammation triggers. The virus may induce vascular inflammation, leading to arterial blockages and heightened cardiovascular disease susceptibility.

The research recommends thorough care for individuals with high-risk HPV, stressing the need for healthcare providers to monitor their cardiovascular health, particularly in obese patients or those with other risk factors.

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