Cardiovascular mortality in cancer patients


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Findings from a new study suggest that more than one in 10 cancer patients will not die from cancer but from cardiovascular disease (CVD) instead, with the risk being higher for certain cancers. 

In the study, published in the European Heart Journal, researchers analysed data from over 3.2 million US patients who had been diagnosed with cancer between 1973 and 2012. Data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database were examined to look at CVD mortality. 

Among 3,234,256 cancer patients, 38 per cent died from cancer and 11.3 per cent died from CVDs. 

The risk of cardiovascular mortality was more than 10-fold greater than in survivors with any type of cancer diagnosed before the age of 55 years than the general population. 

Patients with bladder cancer had the highest risk of dying from a CVD, while those with laryngeal, prostate, uterine, colorectal and breast cancer had a higher than average risk of dying from CVD. The authors noted that in endometrial cancer, the first year after diagnoses posed a very high risk of dying from CVDs. 

They said the findings highlight the need for earlier and more aggressive cardiovascular care in cancer patients.