Cancer survivors have higher risk of heart disease

Credit: Unsplash+

People who have had cancer might be more likely to get heart disease. This is the finding from a big study in the UK. The research was published in a journal called Heart.

This is important because heart disease can be very serious. It could mean that doctors need to check cancer survivors for heart problems more often.

People who have had breast cancer or blood cancer might be at the highest risk. But all cancer survivors could be at risk.

The Research

The scientists wanted to understand why cancer survivors get heart disease. They knew that some cancer treatments can hurt the heart.

They also knew that people with cancer often have other problems like high blood pressure or diabetes. These problems can also hurt the heart.

But there was a lot the scientists didn’t know. Most of the research so far looked at people who had just been diagnosed with cancer.

The scientists in this study wanted to look at people who had cancer a long time ago. They also used a special tool called an MRI to look at the heart in detail.

The Study

The scientists looked at 18,714 people who had cancer in the past. The people had different types of cancer, like lung, breast, prostate, blood, uterine, or bowel cancer.

The scientists compared these people to the same number of people who never had cancer. They made sure the two groups were similar in age and other ways.

The average age of all the people was 62, and most of them were women. The scientists followed these people for nearly 12 years. During this time, they checked their hearts regularly.

They found that many people who had cancer in the past had worse heart health. This included problems like smoking, high blood pressure, and being overweight.

Nearly 1 in 10 of those with lung, uterine, and bowel cancers also had diabetes. And about 18% had some sort of heart disease before the study started.

The Findings

During the study, about a third of the people who had cancer in the past developed a new heart problem. This included diseases like heart attack, stroke, abnormal heart rhythm, and heart failure.

People who had lung, blood, and prostate cancer had the highest rates of new heart disease. The most common heart problems were heart attack, abnormal heart rhythm, and heart failure.

Also, people who had cancer in the past were more likely to die during the study. About 19% of them died, compared to 8.5% of people who never had cancer. Among those who died, 1 in 12 died from heart disease.

The MRI scans showed that people who had cancer in the past had worse heart health. This was true even if they didn’t have other heart problems.

People who had blood cancer were at a particularly high risk. They had more heart problems and worse heart health on the MRI scans.

This is probably because the treatments for blood cancer can hurt the heart. Breast cancer survivors were also at a higher risk. Their treatments can also hurt the heart.

The Conclusion

This study had some limitations. For example, there were not many people with lung and uterine cancer.

And the study did not have information on how serious the cancer was or what treatments the people had.

Also, most of the people in the study were white. So, the findings might not apply to people of other ethnic backgrounds.

But still, the findings were important. The scientists concluded that people who have had cancer are more likely to get heart disease.

This risk lasts for many years after the cancer diagnosis. People who have had breast and blood cancer are at the highest risk.

So, it’s really important to check the heart health of people who have had cancer. Scientists think that this should become a normal part of follow-up care for cancer survivors.

This could help catch heart problems early and hopefully prevent serious heart disease.

If you care about health, please read studies about the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease, and vitamin D supplements strongly reduce cancer death.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about plant nutrient that could help reduce high blood pressure, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.

The study was published in Heart.

Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.