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Short-Term Risk of Arterial Embolism Up in Cancer Patients

Increased risk of arterial thromboembolism, MI, ischemic stroke for cancer patients

plaque in artery

MONDAY, Aug. 14, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of arterial thromboembolism is increased in the short term among patients with incident cancer, according to a study published in the Aug. 22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Babak B. Navi, M.D., from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, and colleagues identified patients over the age of 66 with a new primary diagnosis of breast, lung, prostate, colorectal, bladder, pancreatic, or gastric cancer, or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma from 2002 through the end of 2011 using the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare linked database. Patients were individually matched to a Medicare enrollee without cancer by demographics and comorbidities, and the 279,719 pairs were followed through the end of 2011.

The researchers found that the six-month cumulative incidence of arterial thromboembolism was 4.7 and 2.2 percent in patients with cancer and controls, respectively (hazard ratio, 2.2). The six-month cumulative incidence of myocardial infarction was 2.0 and 0.7 percent in patients with cancer and controls, respectively (hazard ratio, 2.9). The six-month cumulative incidence of ischemic stroke was 3.0 and 1.6 percent for patients with cancer and controls, respectively (hazard ratio, 1.9). There was variation in excess risk based on cancer risk; risk correlated with cancer stage, and was usually resolved by one year.

"Patients with incident cancer face a substantially increased short-term risk of arterial thromboembolism," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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