HealthDay News — Adult survivors of childhood cancer are more likely to be undertreated for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, according to a study published online June 8 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Eric J. Chow, M.D., M.P.H., from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study of adult-aged survivors of childhood cancer treated with anthracyclines or chest radiotherapy. Survivors completed questionnaires and clinical assessments. A matched sample from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was used as a comparator group. The risk for CVD risk factor underdiagnosis and undertreatment was compared among survivors and controls (571 and 345, respectively).

The researchers found that rates of CVD risk factor underdiagnosis were similar for survivors and matched comparators (27.1 versus 26.1%). However, survivors were more likely to be undertreated (21.0 versus 13.9%; odds ratio, 1.8). The most underdiagnosed and undertreated risk factors among survivors were hypertension and dyslipidemia (18.9 and 16.3%, respectively). Men and overweight/obese survivors were more likely to be underdiagnosed and undertreated. The likelihood of being undertreated was also increased for those with multiple adverse lifestyle factors (odds ratio, 2.2). Increased health-related self-efficacy was associated with reduced undertreatment (odds ratio, 0.5).


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“Raising awareness among primary care professionals as well as improving survivors’ ability to self-manage their health may mitigate the increased risks,” Chow said in a statement.

Abstract/Full Text