Long-Term Cardiovascular Adverse Events Among Survivors of Endometrial Cancer

Survivors of uterine cancer are at higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular problems years after treatment, according to a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (online: May 8, 2018; doi:10.1093/jnci/djy070).

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among survivors of endometrial cancer. Previous studies of long-term health effects among endometrial cancer survivors have focused largely on quality of life, mental health, obesity, and adverse sexual side effects, but new information suggests that other long-term health effects are in need of assessment.

Mia Hashibe, PhD, Huntsman Cancer Institute (Salt Lake City, UT), and colleagues identified a cohort of 2648 survivors of endometrial cancer diagnosed between 1997 and 2012. Patients were age-matched with 10503 women in a control cohort. Researcher used electronic medical records and statewide ambulatory surgery and inpatients data to identify cardiovascular disease diagnoses among the patients. Cox regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) at 1 to 5 years, more than 5 to 10 years, and more than 10 years after cancer diagnosis.

Researchers reported that increased cardiovascular risk among survivors of endometrial cancer were observed for phlebitis, thrombophlebitis, thromboembolism, pulmonary heart disease, and atrial fibrillation between 5 and 10 years after diagnosis. More elevated risk was observed at greater than 10 years after diagnosis.

Furthermore, researchers noted that patients who had additionally received radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy were at increased risk for heart and circulatory system disorders between 1 and 5 years after diagnosis, compared with patients who only had surgery. Survivors of endometrial cancer who were older in age and obese were also at higher risk for hypertension and heart disease. 

“Endometrial cancer survivors are at higher risk for various adverse long-term cardiovascular outcomes compared with women from the general population,” authors concluded. “This study suggests that increased monitoring for cardiovascular diseases may be necessary for endometrial cancer patients for 10 years after cancer diagnosis.”Janelle Bradley


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