Cardiovascular Screening and Lipid Management in Breast Cancer Survivors

J Am Board Fam Med. 2020 Nov-Dec;33(6):894-902. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2020.06.190459.


Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among breast cancer (BC) survivors. BC survivors are at increased risk of CVD due to a higher prevalence of risk factors. Current data are limited on the cardiovascular screening practices and lipid management in this population in primary care settings.

Methods: A retrospective case control study was performed with 105 BC survivors and 210 matched controls (based on age and medical comorbidities of diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia). BC survivors were established with primary care practices within a large academic institution and had completed primary cancer treatment. Data on screening for CVD and lipid management were collected via a retrospective chart review.

Results: The average BC survivor was 63 years old, with 9 years since diagnosis. Compared with matched controls, BC survivors had more cholesterol screening (88% vs 70%, P < .001) and active statin prescriptions (63% vs 40%, P < .05) if indicated by the Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Calculator. There were no differences in CVD screening in White and African American BC survivors. However, African American BC survivors were more likely to have hypertension (P < .01) and have a body mass index in the overweight and obese category (P < .001) than White BC survivors. Older BC survivors were more likely to receive cholesterol screening.

Discussion: This study demonstrates that BC survivors who have an established primary care provider have improved cholesterol screening and statin therapy based on their risk of developing chronic diseases.

Keywords: Cardiovascular Diseases; Case-Control Studies; Hyperlipidemias; Obesity; Prevalence; Retrospective Studies; Risk Factors; Statins; Survivorship.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Cancer Survivors*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / etiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survivors


  • Lipids