Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BackgroundPrevious studies have yielded conflicting results on the association between human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). This study aimed to examine associations between HCMV and incident CVD, ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and stroke.MethodsThis study included 8,531 women and men of predominantly white ethnic background, aged 40-69 without prevalent CVD from the population-based UK Biobank study recruited between 2006-2010 with HCMV antibody levels measured. CVD was ascertained via linkage to health administrative records collected up to 2020. Multivariate Cox proportional-hazards models were used to determine the association between HCMV seropositivity and incident CVD, IHD and stroke. HCMV seropositive antibody levels were split into tertiles to assess dose-response associations.ResultsOver a mean follow-up period of 10.2 years, HCMV seropositivity was not significantly associated with CVD (Cases = 626, Hazard Ratio (HR) =1.01, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.86-1.20), IHD (Cases = 539, HR=1.03, 95% CI 0.87-1.24) or stroke (Cases = 144, HR=0.96, 95% CI 0.68-1.36). There was no evidence of dose-response associations with any outcome.ConclusionWe found no significant association between HCMV seropositivity and risk of CVD, IHD or stroke. Further research within understudied populations, such as those of non-white ethnicity, and other CVD subtypes is warranted.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of infectious diseases

Publication Date



Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.