What does this mean? Well for one, the clinical implications are:
- Perhaps the HPV vaccine may also help prevent heart disease
- Physicians should monitor their patients who have cancer causing strains of HPV to potentially prevent having a heart attack or stroke
- Physicians should monitor their patients who have both HPV and cardiovascular disease in an effort to prevent another episode or attack
- More research studies are needed to confirm these findings. This could potentially be another useful way to assess a woman's cardiovascular risk and get younger women to assess their risk for heart disease even earlier.
- Since this study only looked at female subjects, the link between HPV, heart disease and men is still unknown and should also be examined
The researchers of this study believe it may be due to HPV's role in inactivating (shutting down) two tumor suppressing genes p53 and pRb. However at this time, this relationship is still observational and not yet proven to be cause and effect.
The take home message
- The medical community should take a new look at assessing who is at risk for heart disease - and also the vaccine may be another way to prevent both HPV and heart disease
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