Cancer survivors at increased risk of heart failure and more

The link between cancer and heart disease is real. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams checks out a Johns Hopkins study that shows adult cancer survivors are at an increased risk of heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases later in life.

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Adult survivors of cancer should pay attention to heart health
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ROCHESTER, Minn. — Cancer survivors, listen up. A study led by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers shows you may be at an increased risk of heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases.

The study included data from more than 12,000 people. Results indicate that adult survivors of cancer are a high-risk group that may need to pay close attention to prevention.

The researchers found that adult survivors of cancer have a:

  • 42% greater risk of cardiovascular disease
  • 52% increased risk of heart failure
  • 22% increased risk of stroke
  • No significant greater risk of coronary artery disease

“Major advances in cancer treatment mean that patients are living longer and longer, said Dr. Elizabeth Selvin, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and senior author of the study. "This means we now need to pay attention to other chronic diseases, especially heart disease, in cancer survivors. Cancer survivors are a high-risk population and should be prioritized for interventions that lower the chance of heart disease later in life.”
Not all cancers were shown to have the same increase in heart-related risk. The study did not assess why adult survivors of cancer are at increased risk, but the study authors say it may have something to do with effects of some cancer treatment and/or other factors.

The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.


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