CMV Seropositivity and CVD Risk: Is There a Link?

Pavankumar Kamat


July 30, 2021


  • Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) seropositivity was not associated with an increased risk of incident cardiovascular disease (CVD), ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and stroke.

Why this matters

  • Future research is warranted on CVD subtypes that have been under-investigated, including stroke subtypes, and in more diverse populations, particularly those of non-White ethnicity.

Study design

  • The study involved 8531 UK Biobank participants (age, 40-69 years) without prevalent CVD and with valid HCMV serostatus data.

  • The associations between HCMV seropositivity and incident CVD, IHD and stroke were evaluated.

  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • Of 8531 participants, 4938 (57.9%) were seropositive and 3593 (42.1%) were seronegative for HCMV.

  • Over a mean follow-up of 10.2 years, HCMV seropositivity was not significantly associated with an increased risk of (adjusted HR [aHR]; 95% CI):

    • CVD (1.01; 0.86-1.20);

    • IHD (1.03; 0.87-1.24); and

    • stroke (0.96; 0.68-1.36).

  • No dose-response associations were observed between HCMV seropositivity and incident CVD, IHD and stroke.


  • UK Biobank may not be entirely representative of the general population because of healthy volunteer selection bias.

  • Study population was predominantly White. 


Hamilton EM, Allen NE, Mentzer AJ, Littlejohns TJ. Human cytomegalovirus and risk of incident cardiovascular disease in UK Biobank. J Infect Dis. 2021 Jul 19 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiab364. PMID: 34279656.  View abstract 

This clinical summary originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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