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CVD admissions on the rise in Americans with cancer

The study was published August 1 in the European Heart Journal: Quality of Care & Clinical Outcomes.

Although cardiovascular disease (CVD) is known to often strike the mortal blow in patients with cancer, a national analysis puts in stark relief the burden of CV-related hospitalizations in this vulnerable population.

Results show that between 2004 and 2017, CV admissions increased 23.2% among patients with a cancer diagnosis, whereas admissions fell 10.9% among those without cancer. Admissions increased steadily across all cancer types, except prostate cancer, with heart failure being the most common reason for admission.

The researchers, led by Ofer Kobo, MD, also with Keele University, used the National Inpatient Sample to identify 42.5 million weighted cases of CV admissions for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), pulmonary embolismischemic stroke, heart failure, atrial fibrillation (AF), or atrial flutter and intracranial hemorrhage from January 2004 to December 2017. Of these, 1.9 million had a record of cancer.

Patients with cancer were older; had a higher prevalence of valvular disease, anemia, and coagulopathy; and a lower prevalence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and obesity than did patients without cancer. The most common cancer type was hematologic cancers (26.1%), followed by lung (18.7%), gastrointestinal (12.4%), prostate (11.6%), breast (6.7%) and other in 24.4%. The admission rate increased across all six admission causes — between 7% for AMI and ischemic stroke and 46% for AF.

Heart failure was the chief reason for admission among all patients. Annual rates per 100,000 US population increased in patients with cancer (from 13.6 to 16.6; P for trend = .02) and declined in those without (from 352.2 to 349.8; P for trend < .001).

“In the past, patients would be started on medications and perhaps the importance of monitoring [left ventricular] LV function wasn’t as widely known, whereas now we’re much more aggressive in looking at it and much more aggressive at trying to prevent it,” Mamas said. “But even with this greater identification and attempting to modify regimens, we’re still getting quite substantial increases in heart failure admissions in this population. And what really surprised me is that it wasn’t just in the breast cancer population, but it was nearly across the board.”

CVD admissions on the rise in Americans with cancer

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