Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among endometrial cancer patients

Gynecol Oncol. 2012 Aug;126(2):176-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2012.04.013. Epub 2012 Apr 13.


Objective: To evaluate the causes of death among women with endometrial cancer.

Methods: SEER registries from 1973-1988 were queried to perform a retrospective cohort study of women with invasive epithelial endometrial cancer. Causes of death were compared according to grade and stage.

Results: 33,232 women with incident cases of endometrial cancer had died at the time of last follow up. Overall, women were most likely to die from cardiovascular disease (35.9%, 95% CI 35.3-36.3%), followed by other causes, other malignancies, and endometrial cancer. Women with low grade localized cancer were most likely to die of cardiovascular disease, while women with high grade advanced cancer were least likely to die of cardiovascular disease and most likely to die of endometrial cancer. For the entire population, risk of death from cardiovascular causes surpasses the risk of death from endometrial cancer 5 years after diagnosis.

Conclusions: Higher risk of cardiac death among endometrial cancer patients likely reflects the high probability of curative cancer treatment and the prevalence of cardiac disease and risk factors. As the probability of dying of endometrial cancer decreases with time, the probability of dying of cardiovascular disease increases. Interventions and investigations aimed at addressing risk factors for cardiovascular disease may have the greatest potential to improve survival for women diagnosed with endometrial cancer and should feature prominently in treatment and survivorship plans.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / complications
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • SEER Program
  • Survival Analysis
  • United States / epidemiology