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Framingham study data: ca diagnosis linked to rise in CV risk.

SAN FRANCISCO -- A diagnosis of cancer more than doubles the risk that a patient with known atherosclerosis will develop coronary heart disease or a cerebrovascular accident within 6 months, Dr. Bernard E. Kreger said in a poster presented at a conference on cardiovascular disease epidemiology and prevention sponsored by the American Heart Association.

People without atherosclerosis have no increase in cardiovascular risk after a cancer diagnosis, said Dr. Kreger of Boston University. The data come from the first two generations of the Framingham Heart Study, involving 5,514 women and 4,819 men.

Through 1999, 1,988 men experienced 4,431 circulatory events, and 1,614 women experienced 3,201 circulatory events. During the course of the study, 3,062 malignancies were detected among 2,577 cohort members. After adjustment for traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease, members of the cohort had about a 2.4-fold increase in the risk of new coronary heart disease or cerebrovascular accident within the 6 months after a cancer diagnosis. At 1 year and 5 years after the cancer diagnosis, on the other hand, the investigators found no increase in risk.

Dr. Kreger speculated that the increase in risk might stem from something related to cancer itself or from psychological factors. Tumors might produce a substance that increases blood clotting.

Alternatively, the shock of a cancer diagnosis might trigger cardiovascular or cerebrovascular events.

Dr. Kreger suggested that no matter what the cause of the increased risk, physicians and family members should be watchful and careful when revealing a cancer diagnosis to a patient, especially one known to have circulatory disease.
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Title Annotation:Clinical Rounds
Author:Finn, Robert
Publication:OB GYN News
Date:Jun 15, 2004
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