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30-08-2017 | Epidemiology | News

News in brief

Arterial thromboembolism risk rises after cancer diagnosis

medwireNews: A new diagnosis of cancer may come with an elevated risk for developing arterial thromboembolism in the short term, suggests an analysis of the linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results and Medicare databases.

As reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the 6-month cumulative incidence of arterial thromboembolism among the 279,719 patients diagnosed with cancer between 2002 and 2011 (median age 74 years) was more than double that seen in an equal number of matched controls without cancer, at 4.7% versus 2.2%, a significant difference.

Individuals with cancer were also significantly more likely than controls to have a myocardial infarction or ischemic stroke in the short term, with 6-month cumulative incidences of 2.0% versus 0.7% and 3.0% versus 1.6%, respectively.

The excess risk for arterial thromboembolism and stroke tended to resolve by the 1-year mark, but the heightened myocardial infarction risk persisted beyond this timepoint for several cancer types, report Babak Navi (Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, USA) and co-authors.

“Our findings raise the question of whether patients with newly diagnosed malignant cancer […] should be considered for antithrombotic and statin medicines for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease,” they write.

“Given that patients with cancer are also prone to bleeding due to frequent coagulopathy and invasive procedures, carefully designed clinical trials are needed to answer these questions.”

By Shreeya Nanda

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2017 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group