Cardiovascular Disease Risk in a Large, Population-Based Cohort of Breast Cancer Survivors

Naomi B Boekel, Michael Schaapveld, Jourik A Gietema, Nicola S Russell, Philip Poortmans, Jacqueline C M Theuws, Dominic A X Schinagl, Derek H F Rietveld, Michel I M Versteegh, Otto Visser, Emiel J T Rutgers, Berthe M P Aleman, Flora E van Leeuwen

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PURPOSE: To conduct a large, population-based study on cardiovascular disease (CVD) in breast cancer (BC) survivors treated in 1989 or later.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: A large, population-based cohort comprising 70,230 surgically treated stage I to III BC patients diagnosed before age 75 years between 1989 and 2005 was linked with population-based registries for CVD. Cardiovascular disease risks were compared with the general population, and within the cohort using competing risk analyses.

RESULTS: Compared with the general Dutch population, BC patients had a slightly lower CVD mortality risk (standardized mortality ratio 0.92, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.88-0.97). Only death due to valvular heart disease was more frequent (standardized mortality ratio 1.28, 95% CI 1.08-1.52). Left-sided radiation therapy after mastectomy increased the risk of any cardiovascular event compared with both surgery alone (subdistribution hazard ratio (sHR) 1.23, 95% CI 1.11-1.36) and right-sided radiation therapy (sHR 1.19, 95% CI 1.04-1.36). Radiation-associated risks were found for not only ischemic heart disease, but also for valvular heart disease and congestive heart failure (CHF). Risks were more pronounced in patients aged <50 years at BC diagnosis (sHR 1.48, 95% CI 1.07-2.04 for left- vs right-sided radiation therapy after mastectomy). Left- versus right-sided radiation therapy after wide local excision did not increase the risk of all CVD combined, yet an increased ischemic heart disease risk was found (sHR 1.14, 95% CI 1.01-1.28). Analyses including detailed radiation therapy information showed an increased CVD risk for left-sided chest wall irradiation alone, left-sided breast irradiation alone, and internal mammary chain field irradiation, all compared with right-sided breast irradiation alone. Compared with patients not treated with chemotherapy, chemotherapy used ≥1997 (ie, anthracyline-based chemotherapy) increased the risk of CHF (sHR 1.35, 95% CI 1.00-1.83).

CONCLUSION: Radiation therapy regimens used in BC treatment between 1989 and 2005 increased the risk of CVD, and anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimens increased the risk of CHF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1061-72
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016

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