A new study warns infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) strains can significantly increase the risk of heart disease.
Smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, poor diet, obesity and diabetes are known contributing factors of the disease. However, researchers want to further explore other potential contributors that are not yet known.
Researchers from Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in South Korea have recently discovered human papillomavirus or HPV, the most common sexually transmitted disease could be a hidden risk factor. Women with high-risk HPV were 22 per cent more likely than uninfected women to develop cardiovascular disease, according to the results.
"A better understanding of high-risk HPV as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and possible combined effects of high-risk HPV, obesity and metabolic syndrome in increasing cardiovascular disease risk may help improve preventive strategies and patient outcomes," Seungho Ryu, a professor at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, told a news portal. Adding, "Further studies are required to identify specific high-risk HPV genotypes that may contribute to cardiovascular disease and to examine whether vaccine strategies to reduce high-risk HPV infection for cancer prevention may also help reduce cardiovascular disease."
Previous research has already found that certain strains of HPV can increase the risk of cervical and throat cancer.