We already know HPV, or human papillomavirus, can cause cervical cancer. It's also known to cause some kinds of oral cancer. But could HPV also cause heart disease? An intriguing new study is drawing a link.
The study found that women who are known to be infected with cancer-causing strains of the virus may be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke -- even when they have none of the usual heart disease risk factors. The study authors say their research is one of the first to investigate a potential link between heart disease and HPV, which is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections.
Dr. Eduardo Franco, director of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology at McGill's Faculty of Medicine reviewed the study and says he finds the suggestions that HPV and heart disease could be linked "is not plausible" given what is known about the way different strains of HPV interact with their target cells.
"Overall, this suggests errors, possibly due to contamination of specimens either during collection or pre/post-processing," he said in comments to CTV News.