Cancer survivors have raised heart risk, reports a US population-based study of cardiovascular disease mortality risk patients with cancer

Sturgeon, K.M , et al | 2019| A population-based study of cardiovascular disease mortality risk in US cancer patients| European Heart Journal| ehz766| https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehz766

The European Heart Journal has published research that looked at three million US patients, across 28  types of  cancers, over a period of  40 years, the experts behind this analysis found that more than one-tenth of patients died from cardiovascular diseases. The research highlights the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD)  in patients diagnosed with breast, prostate, or bladder cancer.  The team also observed that from the point of cancer diagnosis onward patients with cancer (all sites) are at elevated risk of dying from CVDs compared to the general US population (Source: Sturgeon, et al. 2019).

 

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The journal article is available in full from The European Heart Journal

Abstract

Aims

 

This observational study characterized cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality risk for multiple cancer sites, with respect to the following: (i) continuous calendar year, (ii) age at diagnosis, and (iii) follow-up time after diagnosis.

 

Methods and results

The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program was used to compare the US general population to 3 234 256 US cancer survivors (1973–2012). Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated using coded cause of death from CVDs (heart disease, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, atherosclerosis, and aortic aneurysm/dissection). Analyses were adjusted by age, race, and sex. Among 28 cancer types, 1 228 328 patients (38.0%) died from cancer and 365 689 patients (11.3%) died from CVDs. Among CVDs, 76.3% of deaths were due to heart disease. In eight cancer sites, CVD mortality risk surpassed index-cancer mortality risk in at least one calendar year. Cardiovascular disease mortality risk was highest in survivors diagnosed at less than 35 years of age. Further, CVD mortality risk is highest  within the first year after cancer diagnosis, and CVD mortality risk remains elevated throughout follow-up compared to the general population.

Conclusion

The majority of deaths from CVD occur in patients diagnosed with breast, prostate, or bladder cancer. We observed that from the point of cancer diagnosis forward into survivorship cancer patients (all sites) are at elevated risk of dying from CVDs compared to the general US population. In endometrial cancer, the first year after diagnosis poses a very high risk of dying from CVDs, supporting early involvement of cardiologists in such patients.

 

In the news:

BBC News Cancer survivors ‘have higher heart risk’

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