Does Cancer Exacerbate Risk of Cardiovascular Disease?

Updated: Oct 14

Advances in early cancer detection and combination therapy have helped people live much longer lives. In fact, more than 80% of adult patients diagnosed with cancer survive long term.¹

Consequently, a longer lifespan means patients are more likely to develop chronic diseases, especially heart disease.

Research published in the American Journal of Managed Care in 2019 showed that survivors of certain cancers can have 2-6x the risk of death from CVD. Patients with breast, prostate, and bladder cancers had the highest risk, accounting for 61% of all cancer survivors’ CVD deaths.¹

More recent research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed a 42% higher risk of CVD for cancer survivors than those with no cancer history. Specifically, cancer survivors were found to have a 52% higher risk of developing heart failure, and 22% increase in stroke.²

While cancer and cardiovascular diseases share many of the same risk factors, such as poor diet and tobacco use, the study’s author indicated that the increase in CVD could be due to the aggressive treatments that accompany a cancer diagnosis.

The National Cancer Institute has stated that cancer treatments can affect many organs of the body, especially the heart, and cardiovascular conditions can be exacerbated by radiation and chemotherapy.³

Cardiovascular laboratory tests for CVD risk factors are imperative for treatment of cancer survivors.⁴

The American Society of Clinical Oncology recommends routine surveillance for cardiac dysfunction for survivors of certain types of adult cancers.⁵

Prevencio’s HART AI-driven blood tests can monitor cardiovascular changes and are a breakthrough in cardiac care and prevention, employing AI to produce test panels of multiple proteins and clinical variables, combined with an algorithm to create a cardiovascular risk score.

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1 - Sturgeon KM, Deng L, Bluethmann SM, et al. A population-based study of cardiovascular disease mortality in US cancer patients [published online November 25, 2019]. Eur Heart J doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehz766.

2 - Florido R, Daya N, Ndumele C, et al. Cardiovascular Disease Risk Among Cancer Survivors. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2022 Jul, 80 (1) 22–32.

3 - Investigating the Cardiac Side Effects of Cancer Treatments - NCI

4 - Okwuosa TM, Anzevino S, Rao R. Cardiovascular disease in cancer survivors. Postgrad Med J. 2017 Feb;93(1096):82-90. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2016-134417. Epub 2016 Oct 8. PMID: 28123076.

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