AHA finds cancer onset age connected to risk of heart disease
In its Circulation journal, the AHA recently revealed statistics suggesting a direct relationship between age of cancer onset and chances of dying from heart disease. The greatest significance appears in those who survive Hodgkin lymphoma, or cancer of the lymphatic system.
Titled "The Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Survivor Study," the research followed over 200,000 young adults in the United Kingdom, beginning in 1976 and culminating in 2014. The study excluded treatment-related information such as chemotherapy and radiation.
“It is important for clinicians because it helps them focus the most intensive follow-up care on those most at risk,” Mike Hawkins, senior author of the study and director of the Centre for Childhood Cancer Survivor Studies in England, said. “It (empowers) survivors … by providing them with their long-term chances of a specific side effect of cancer treatment.”
Overall, Hodgkin survivors were found 3.8 times more likely to die of heart disease than the general population. Specifically, the report stated that 6.9 percent of Hodgkin survivors diagnosed at a younger age (15-19 years) die of heart disease by age 55, in contrast to only 2 percent of those diagnosed later (35-39 years). Additionally, those who fought other cancers successfully were also more likely to perish of heart disease compared to the average individual.
“Survivors of cancer diagnosed in teenage and young adulthood are internationally acknowledged to be an under-studied population,” Hawkins said. “With the advantage of long-standing cancer registration for the U.K. population, we were in a position to undertake the largest study to date.”
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