Heart failure survivors at higher risk of cancer
Thanks to improvements in medical treatment, people are surviving heart failure with increasing frequency. But new research from the Mayo Clinic suggests that those survivors may be a higher risk of developing cancer. The scientists also found that heart failure survivors who develop cancer have higher mortality rates.
Researchers studied medical records from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, analyzing 596 heart failure patients and an equal number of healthy subjects. They determined that that those who suffered heart failure between 1979 and 1990 had a 48 percent increased risk of cancer over the healthy subjects, while heart failure patients between 1991 and 2002 had an 86 percent increased risk of cancer.
The results of the study suggest that cardiovascular treatment side effects could lead to cancer, or that the stress from illness or other mechanisms associated with heart problems, such as inflammation, could be a factor. The researchers also suspect that the increased occurrence of cancer could be attributed to increased surveillance.