Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Preventable risk factors pose threat to heart health of childhood cancer survivors

Date:
October 10, 2013
Source:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Summary:
For childhood cancer survivors, risk factors associated with lifestyle, particularly hypertension, dramatically increase the likelihood of developing serious heart problems as adults, according to a national study.

For childhood cancer survivors, risk factors associated with lifestyle, particularly hypertension, dramatically increase the likelihood of developing serious heart problems as adults, according to a national study led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The findings appear in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Related Articles


The Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) is one of the first to focus on how hypertension, diabetes, obesity and elevated blood lipids contribute to cardiovascular disease in childhood cancer survivors. The research concentrated on risk factors that can often be modified with diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes. The federally funded CCSS follows survivors of childhood cancer treated at 26 medical centers in the U.S. and Canada. St. Jude is its coordinating center.

The risk was greatest for survivors whose cancer treatment had included therapies associated with heart damage. The findings suggest that risk factors linked to lifestyle, particularly hypertension, intensify the impact of those childhood cancer treatments and accelerate development of heart disease.

The findings raise hope that prevention or treatment of such risk factors might help reduce heart-related death and disability among the nation's growing population of childhood cancer survivors. For survivors, treatment-related heart disease is a leading cause of non-cancer death and disability.

The results reinforce the importance of survivors receiving annual medical screenings to check blood pressure, weight, cholesterol and other health indicators, said the study's first and corresponding author Greg Armstrong, M.D., an associate member of the St. Jude Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control. Screenings have a track record of reducing heart disease in the general population and are recommended for childhood cancer survivors. "For doctors who are caring for survivors, the key message from this study is that aggressive management of hypertension is especially important for this population," Armstrong said.

Nationwide, there are an estimated 395,000 survivors of childhood cancer. With overall pediatric cancer survival rates now 80 percent, the number of survivors will continue to grow.

The study included 10,724 childhood cancer survivors, half younger than 34 years old and 3,159 siblings whose average age was 36 and who had not been diagnosed with childhood cancer. The survivors were all at least five years from their cancer diagnosis and half had survived for more than 25 years.

While similar percentages of survivors and siblings reported at least two preventable risk factors, by age 45 survivors were far more likely than the siblings to report severe, life threatening or fatal heart problems. For example, 5.3 percent of survivors, but 0.9 percent of siblings, reported a diagnosis of coronary artery disease and, 4.8 percent of survivors, but just 0.3 percent of siblings, reported suffering from heart failure.

The difference was even more dramatic when investigators focused on survivors whose cancer treatment included either chest irradiation or a class of chemotherapy drugs known as anthracyclines. Both are associated with an increased risk of serious heart problems. While treatments have changed since survivors in this study battled cancer in the 1970s and mid-1980s, anthracyclines and chest irradiation still play essential roles in childhood cancer treatments.

Such treatment-related risk left survivors with normal blood pressure at a five-fold increased risk of coronary artery disease. Researchers found survivors with the same treatment history but who had also developed hypertension were at a 37-fold increased risk. Researchers found similarly dramatic differences in the likelihood of heart failure, heart valve disease or arrhythmia depending on whether the at-risk survivors reported treatable risk factors in addition to their cancer-treatment-related risk.

"For survivors whose cancer treatment included cardio-toxic therapy, we found that preventable factors, particularly hypertension, resulted in a risk beyond what is likely from a simple additive effect," Armstrong said. Having both treatment-associated risk and hypertension resulted in double-digit excess risk of coronary artery disease, heart failure and other serious heart problems.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. G. T. Armstrong, K. C. Oeffinger, Y. Chen, T. Kawashima, Y. Yasui, W. Leisenring, M. Stovall, E. J. Chow, C. A. Sklar, D. A. Mulrooney, A. C. Mertens, W. Border, J.-B. Durand, L. L. Robison, L. R. Meacham. Modifiable Risk Factors and Major Cardiac Events Among Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2013; 31 (29): 3673 DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2013.49.3205

Cite This Page:

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Preventable risk factors pose threat to heart health of childhood cancer survivors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131010124358.htm>.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. (2013, October 10). Preventable risk factors pose threat to heart health of childhood cancer survivors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131010124358.htm
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Preventable risk factors pose threat to heart health of childhood cancer survivors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131010124358.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins