Antibodies to human herpesviruses and risk of incident cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality
Approved Research ID: 63816
Approval date: August 7th 2020
Herpesviruses are common: around 95% of UK adults have been infected with varicella zoster virus and around 50-70% have experienced herpes simplex virus type 1 or cytomegalovirus infection. After initial infection, these viruses lie dormant, but they can reactivate when the immune system is under stress. Some studies have linked virus reactivation to other diseases such as stroke and dementia. However, a better understanding of the nature of these relationships is essential to identify who is at risk and during which time periods, to guide preventive efforts.
In this study, we will investigate whether having high antibody levels to three common herpesviruses is associated with the risk of heart attack, stroke and death in the UK Biobank cohort. This will inform future research into interventions such as vaccines to prevent complications of herpesviruses in older age.