Cancer Identified as a New Cardiovascular Risk Factor

The researchers also advocate for intensifying cardiovascular control measures in secondary prevention for these patients, reconsidering goals, and ensuring compliance with prescribed pharmacological regimens and healthy lifestyle habits.

Higher Incidence Density 

The retrospective analysis included 937 patients of both sexes aged 18 years and older who underwent coronary angioplasty for acute coronary syndrome between 2008 and 2022 at a university hospital. Of these participants, 89 (9.5%) had a history of cancer, with a median time since oncologic diagnosis of around 2 years for solid and hematologic tumors. Most participants had treated and resolved cancer.

Over a median follow-up of 45 months (range, 14-72 months), the cumulative incidence rates of a major cardiovascular event (nonfatal stroke, nonfatal acute myocardial infarction, cardiovascular death, or new angioplasty) were 22.2% (155/698) and 28.4% (25/88) in the groups without and with a history of cancer, respectively. The incidence density was significantly higher in the group with an oncologic history than in the group without such a history: 0.78 event/100 patients/month vs 0.48 event/100 patients/month (P = .01).

Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a higher probability of a major cardiovascular event in the group of patients with cancer or a history of cancer (P = .0086). In multivariate Cox regression analysis, cancer history was an independent predictor of major cardiovascular events adjusted for other risk factors such as age, hypertension, diabetes, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and family history (hazard ratio, 1.66; P = .025).

Melchiori clarified that the increased incidence of cardiovascular events in patients with cancer or a history of cancer cannot be attributed to differences in percutaneous intervention or the indication or compliance of post-treatment pharmacological therapy.

In addition, the specialist acknowledged that due to the sample size, discrimination by cancer type, disease stage, or therapeutic strategies couldn't be performed. A subanalysis, which has not been presented, indicated that the effect could not be explained solely by the application of radiotherapy or chemotherapy in the 90 days before angioplasty ­­— two factors that cause arterial inflammation.