It looks like there is even more reason to get the HPV shot, because a recent study has begun to link an increase in heart attacks and strokes with HPV.
Don't panic completely, though, as the link itself is still unknown and more and more tests need to be done, but even when ignoring these preliminary studies you still have the link to cervical and throat cancers, so protecting yourself regardless should be the main priority.
"It is unclear what is the underlying mechanism for such risk, though the infection itself, (the) body's reaction to infection or a general milieu of inflammation may account for a part of the risk."
If only we could figure out the specifics, maybe we could stop a lot of these health issues from happening. Wouldn't that be incredible?
Here's how the testing went:
Close to 2,500 women between age 20 and 59 took vaginal swabs for HPV testing and told researchers whether or not they had ever been diagnosed with a stroke or heart attack. About 47 percent of the women tested positive for HPV. The infections were evenly split between strains that can cause cervical cancer and non-cancer strains. Sixty women reported a history of heart disease — 39 who also tested positive for HPV, and 21 with no HPV. Women with HPV were more than twice as likely to say they'd had a stroke or heart attack, once researchers accounted for other heart risks including smoking, drinking and high blood pressure.
It was relatively small in scale, but perhaps with time we'll understand more and more. For now, it's a little to early:
"Those who have HPV infections do not have to panic at all. More extensive vaccination may potentially prevent … the incidence of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke, but this needs to be tested in a bigger trial. Women should be evaluated for HPV vaccination whether or not HPV association with heart disease is proven."
Just get the shots. There is no logical argument as to why you shouldn't, and no arguments based in scientific evidence. Prevention shouldn't be something to be messed with. Do yourself the favor!
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: blood pressure, cancer, disease, drinking, health, heart, heart attack, heart disease, hpv, infection, prevent, prevention, research, researchers, smoking, stroke, study, women