The Guardian Express (12.21.12)
A study of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data collected from 2003 to 2006 found an association between cardiovascular disease and infection with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) among women. Researchers reported that 1,141 women—almost half of the 2,450 U.S. women in the study—had HPV infections. Of the HPV-infected women, only 573 had a type of HPV that is linked to cancer. Sixty of the women with a cancer-associated HPV stated they had experienced a stroke or myocardial infarction.
Although there are many types of HPV, the strains most closely linked with cancer are HPV 16 and HPV 18. According to 2004 to 2008 data, over 87 percent of the 25,900 cancer cases associated with HPV were attributed to HPV 16 and 18. Many types of HPV are transmitted through genital or oral contact; warts are the most common symptom of HPV infection. Most HPV infections in women disappear within two years and do not have long-lasting effects, but five to 10 percent of HPV-infected women have an elevated risk of cervical cancer.
Vaccinations for HPV 16 and 18 are available and may be obtained from local health departments and private health care providers.
The full report, “Human Papillomavirus and Cardiovascular Disease Among U.S. Women in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2003 to 2006,” was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2011; 58 (19):2001-2006).