Cardiovascular disease events within 5 years after a diagnosis of breast cancer

BMC Cancer. 2020 Apr 21;20(1):337. doi: 10.1186/s12885-020-06838-w.


Background: Concern for cardiovascular disease (particularly atrial fibrillation-AF) among women with breast cancer is becoming a major issue. We aimed at determining the incidence of cardiovascular disease events (AF, arterial and cardiac events, venous-thromboembolism-VTE) in patients diagnosed with breast cancer, and assessing potential risk factors.

Methods: We reviewed medical records of all patients diagnosed with breast cancer from 2010 to 2011 in our cancer center. Baseline characteristics of patients and tumors were collected. The main outcome was the occurrence of cardiovascular disease events (AF, VTE, arterial and cardiac events) during the 5-years follow-up.

Results: Among the 682 breast cancer patients, 22 (3.2%) patients had a history of atrial fibrillation. Thirty-four patients (5%) presented at least one cardiovascular disease event, leading to a cumulative incidence of 5.8% events at 5-years ([3.8-7.7] CI 95%), with most of them occurring in the first 2 years. AF cumulative incidence was 1.1% ([0.1-2.1] CI 95%). Factors associated with the occurrence of cardiovascular disease events (including AF) were an overexpression of HER-2 (HR 2.6 [1.21-5.56] p < 0.011), UICC-stage III tumors or more (HR 5.47 [2.78-10.76] p < 0.001) and pre-existing cardiovascular risk factors (HR 2.91 [1.36-6.23] p < 0.004).

Conclusion: The incidence of cardiovascular disease events was 5.8% ([3.8-7.7] CI 95%), with HER-2 over-expression, UICC-stage III tumors or more and pre-existing cardiovascular diseases being associated with them. These findings call for the development of preventive strategies in patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

Keywords: Atrial fibrillation; Breast cancer; Cardiovascular disease; Cardiovascular prevention.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Lobular / therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / pathology
  • Chemoradiotherapy / adverse effects*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Mastectomy / adverse effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate