News Flash > Cardiovascular Health


Cancer Survivors and Heart Disease

Reported January 08, 2010

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Pediatric cancer survivors are at higher risk for high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, all precursors to heart disease.

In a new study, researchers looked at data from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study -- which involved over 8,000 cancer survivors and nearly 3,000 of their siblings -- and found cancer survivors are almost twice as likely to take medication for high blood pressure, 60 percent more likely to take cholesterol medication and 70 percent more like to have diabetes than their siblings.

“If the risk factors could be recognized and treated early, it is hoped some of the long-term cardiac side effects could be averted," Lillian R. Meacham, M.D., medical director of the Cancer Survivor Program and professor of pediatrics at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., was quoted as saying.



Dr. Meacham said radiation treatment may play a key role in the development of the cardiac risk factors.

“Some have suggested that when you are a cancer survivor, there are parts of you that wear out early, so we need to be vigilant about our follow-up of these patients in order to find these late effects early and intervene," Dr. Meacham added.

SOURCE: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomakers & Prevention, January 2010