The New York Times (10/25, D5, Grady, Subscription Publication) reports, "Women infected with the human papillomavirus, or HPV, are two to three times as likely as uninfected women to have had a heart attack or stroke, according to a report" published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. After "researchers analyzed the data and adjusted for heart risks like smoking, blood pressure and weight, they found that women with HPV were 2.3 times as likely as those without the virus to have heart disease." However, investigators "said that if the link is real, heart disease, like cancer, would be likely to develop only in people with lingering HPV infection."
The Wall Street Journal (10/25, Hobson) "Health Blog" notes that HPV also suppresses the action of retinoblastoma protein, another tumor suppressor that has been linked to atherosclerosis.
An accompanying editorial observed, "This finding re-emphasizes the potential roles that a variety of chronic infectious agents may play in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis," Forbes (10/25, Husten) reports.
MedPage Today (10/25, Neale) reports, "Although HPV status was not related to various metabolic risks, it was strongly associated with cardiovascular disease after adjustment for demographics, health and sex behaviors, medical comorbidities, and cardiovascular risk factors and management." However, "the cross-sectional design of the study precludes any conclusions about a cause-and-effect relationship between HPV infection and cardiovascular disease."
POSTED BY STEVEN ALMANY, MD