Number of cancer patients admitted to hospital with heart disease up by almost a quarter, new study shows
The number of cancer patients admitted to hospitals with cardiovascular diseases has risen by almost a quarter (23%) in the past decade, according to new research led by Keele University.
Researchers looked at 42.5 million adult hospitalisations with a primary cardiovascular diagnosis in the U.S. between 2004 and 2017, of which 1.8 million (4.5%) were patients who also had cancer. Of those with cancer, the highest admission rates were found in patients with cancer affecting the blood – such as leukaemia and lymphoma – followed by lung cancer. The most common reason for admission was heart failure.
The researchers found an overall trend of increasing cardiovascular admissions across all cancer types, but a corresponding decline of in-hospital deaths during the period of the study. The results have been published in the European Heart Journal.
The rise reflects improvements in cancer diagnosis and treatment helping people to live longer, but also contrasts with a decline in cardiovascular admission among people with no record of cancer by 10.9% during the same period.
Lead author Professor Mamas Mamas, Professor of Cardiology at Keele University and consultant cardiologist at University Hospitals North Midlands NHS Trust, said the study reveals increasing cardiovascular healthcare needs of cancer patients and growing importance of awareness of related issues by the general cardiologist.
He said: "Few researchers have examined cardiovascular admissions of cancer patients in large populations. As cancer treatments are becoming more effective, patients with cancer are living longer and the size of the cancer population with cardiovascular disease is increasing.
"Our work shows that while cardiovascular hospital admissions in the general population has declined, there has been a substantial increase in cardiovascular admissions in patients with cancer over the past decade. This work highlights the under-recognised importance of cardiovascular disease in patients with cancer, and how we will need to focus on cardiac services increasingly towards this population."
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