This study aimed to investigate the trend of cardiovascular disease (CVD)-specific mortality in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and identify prognostic factors for CVD-specific death in stage NSCLC patients.
In this study, 270,618 NSCLC patients were collected from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. CVD- and NSCLC-specific cumulative mortality and proportion of death were calculated and graphically displayed to describe the probability of specific endpoints. Prognostic factors for CVD-specific mortality were evaluated by cause-specific hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) using the competing risk model with non-cardiovascular death as competing risks.
Among all competing causes of death, lung cancer resulted in the highest cumulative mortality, followed by CVDs and other causes. In the proportion of cause-specific death, heart diseases accounted for approximately 5.3% of the total death, only secondary to primary cancer. In all three stages, higher age, squamous cell carcinoma, and no-or-unknown chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy were associated with a higher risk of CVD-specific death, while surgery treatment seemed to be a protective factor. Female gender was statistically related to CVD-specific death in stage I and III patients with HRs of 0.84 (0.78-0.91) and 0.84 (0.77-0.93), respectively. Interestingly, right-sided laterality was correlated with lower CVD-specific mortality with HR of 0.82 (0.74-0.90) in stage III.
This study illustrated the historical trend of CVD-specific death in NSCLC patients and assesses potential prognostic risk factors, highlighting the involvement of cardio-oncology teams in cancer treatment to provide optimal comprehensive care and long-term surveillance for cancer patients.

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