TUESDAY, Nov. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Cardiovascular (CV) risk factors and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are associated with an increased risk for developing cancer, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, held from Nov. 16 to 18 in Philadelphia.

Emily Lau, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the correlation of traditional CV risk factors, biomarkers, and CVD with development of future cancer among Framingham Heart Study participants free of CVD and cancer at baseline.

The researchers identified 1,670 incident cancer cases among 12,712 participants during a median follow-up of 14.6 years. There were independent associations for CV risk factors, including age, sex, hypertension, and smoking status, with cancer. The estimated 10-year atherosclerotic CVD (ASCVD) risk also predicted future cancer, with significantly increased noted risk for high ASCVD-risk versus low ASCVD-risk individuals (hazard ratio, 3.53). Brain natriuretic peptide was associated with incident cancer (tertile 3 versus 1: hazard ratio, 1.62), but no correlation was seen for high-sensitivity troponin I. The risk for subsequent cancer was increased significantly with development of interim CV events (interim CVD: hazard ratio, 7.80; heart failure: hazard ratio, 5.73; myocardial infarction: hazard ratio, 8.53; atrial fibrillation: hazard ratio, 6.89).

“We, as physicians, should be aggressive in trying to reduce cardiovascular risk factors not only to prevent heart disease, but also to consider cancer risk at the same time,” Lau said in a statement.

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