Stroke among cancer patients

Nat Commun. 2019 Nov 15;10(1):5172. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13120-6.


We identify cancer patients at highest risk of fatal stroke. This is a population-based study using nationally representative data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program, 1992-2015. Among 7,529,481 cancer patients, 80,513 died of fatal stroke (with 262,461 person-years at risk); the rate of fatal stroke was 21.64 per 100,000-person years, and the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) of fatal stroke was 2.17 (95% CI, 2.15, 2.19). Patients with cancer of the prostate, breast, and colorectum contribute to the plurality of cancer patients dying of fatal stroke. Brain and gastrointestinal cancer patients had the highest SMRs (>2-5) through the follow up period. Among those diagnosed at <40 years of age, the plurality of strokes occurs in patients treated for brain tumors and lymphomas; if >40, from cancers of the prostate, breast, and colorectum. For almost all cancers survivors, the risk of stroke increases with time.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / mortality
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult