HPV infection ups CVD risk, but not in vaccinated women

02 Mar 2023
HPV infection ups CVD risk, but not in vaccinated women

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection appears to be a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), suggests a recent study. However, women vaccinated against HPV are protected against such risk.

A total of 9,353 women aged 20 to 59 years who were tested for vaginal HPV DNA in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2016 were recruited in this cross-sectional study.

CVDs were characterized by the presence of self-reported coronary heart diseases, heart attacks, angina pectoris, and stroke. Logistic regression was used to assess the association between HPV and CVDs, with adjustment for potential confounders.

Less than half of the women (40.8 percent) tested positive for HPV DNA. Of the participants, 3.0 percent had CVDs, and 9.0 percent were vaccinated against HPV.

The presence of vaginal HPV infection significantly correlated with CVDs (odds ratio [OR], 1.66, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.28‒2.16). Such association remained significant (OR, 1.54, 95 percent CI, 1.15‒2.0) even after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle behaviours, medical history, family history of CVDs, and antihypertensive drugs.

Notably, the association between HPV and CVD did not exist among women who received HPV vaccine (OR, 0.50, 95 percent CI, 0.07‒3.51) but did so among those who were unvaccinated (OR, 1.63, 95 percent CI, 1.18‒2.25).

“The effect of HPV vaccination on CVDs requires further investigation,” the investigators said.

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