Men who survive thyroid cancer have a 50% higher risk of developing heart disease vs women, according to one of the first population-based studies to assess the association between the potential risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among thyroid cancer survivors.
The results, published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, suggest a critical need for clinicians to examine the effects of thyroid cancer diagnosis, cancer treatment, and demographic characteristics on the risk of CVD.
Thyroid cancer survivors are at high risk of developing multiple cardiac and vascular conditions as a consequence of cancer diagnosis and treatment. However, the role played by baseline and prognostic factors, as well as cancer treatments, in increasing cardiac and vascular disease risk remains unclear.
“Our study found that male thyroid cancer survivors have an almost 50% higher risk of developing CVD than women, while thyroid cancer survivors with obesity have a 41% higher risk,” said senior author Mia Hashibe, PhD, of Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Hashibe and colleagues conducted a cohort study of 3822 primary thyroid cancer survivors who were diagnosed from 1997 to 2012 and identified using the statewide Utah Population Database. The medical records were used to ascertain information on risk factors and CVD outcomes.
Among thyroid cancer survivors, age and year at cancer diagnosis, cancer stage, sex, baseline body mass index, baseline comorbidities, and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) suppression therapy were significantly associated with CVD risk from 1 to 5 years after cancer diagnosis.