Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease risk in chemotherapy-treated testicular germ cell tumour survivors

Br J Cancer. 2013 Jul 9;109(1):60-7. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2013.226. Epub 2013 May 9.


Background: Testicular cancer patients have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), which might be related to the increased prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in this group of patients.

Methods: We assessed the prevalence of MetS and calculated the 10-year CVD risk in a cohort of 255 testicular germ cell tumour survivors (median age, 38.7 years; interquartile range, 31-48) at a mean of 7.8 years after anti-cancer treatment, and compared these with data obtained from 360 healthy men.

Results: Survivors had an age-adjusted increased risk for MetS of 1.9 compared with that of healthy controls. The risk for MetS was highest in survivors treated with combination chemotherapy (CT) 2.3 (Adult Treatment Panel of the National Cholesterol Education Program classification) and 2.2 (International Diabetes Federation classification). The risk of MetS was especially increased in survivors with testosterone levels in the lowest quartile (OR, 2.5). Ten-year cardiovascular risk as assessed by the Framingham Risk Score (3.0%) and Systemic Coronary Risk Evaluation (1.7%) algorithms was low, independent of treatment, and was comparable to controls.

Conclusion: Testicular germ cell tumour survivors have an increased prevalence of MetS, with hypogonadism and CT treatment being clear risk factors for the development of the syndrome. The increased prevalence of MetS was not associated with an increased 10-year cardiovascular risk.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carboplatin / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Hypogonadism / complications
  • Hypogonadism / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / complications
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Survivors
  • Testicular Neoplasms / complications
  • Testicular Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Testosterone
  • Carboplatin

Supplementary concepts

  • Testicular Germ Cell Tumor