BRCA1/2 mutation carriers are potentially at higher cardiovascular risk

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2014 Aug;91(2):159-71. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2014.01.008. Epub 2014 Jan 24.


BRCA1/2 mutation carriers have an elevated risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer at a relatively young age. Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy is an established strategy to tremendously reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. It is recommended to perform this surgery at age 35-40 years (BRCA1) and at age 40-45 years (BRCA2) resulting in an early and abrupt menopause. BRCA1/2 mutation carriers are potentially at higher risk of cardiovascular diseases due to early surgical menopause, and cardiotoxic effects of adjuvant treatment for breast cancer. Furthermore, preliminary results of experimental studies suggest a possible causative function of the BRCA genes in cardiovascular risk. More research on cardiovascular health risks in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers is needed, especially in the field of cardio-oncology, requiring additional attention to potentially cumulative effects on cardiovascular risks in this specific group of women.

Keywords: BRCA mutation; Cardio-oncology; Cardiovascular disease; Menopause; Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • BRCA1 Protein / genetics*
  • BRCA2 Protein / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / complications*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Menopause
  • Mutation*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / complications*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy
  • Risk Factors


  • BRCA1 Protein
  • BRCA2 Protein