JUN 29, 2021 7:31 AM PDT

Heart Failure Linked to Increased Cancer Risk

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

A study by researchers in Germany suggests that patients with heart failure are more likely to develop cancer than those without heart failure. 

For the study, the researchers included 100,124 patients with heart failure and an equal number without heart failure in their analysis. Each patient had an average age of 72.6 years old and 54% were women. They were individually matched according to sex, age, obesity, diabetes and frequency of consultation. At the beginning of the study, none of the patients had cancer. They were then observed for 10 years. 

Using statistical models, the researchers found that over the study period, 25.7% of heart failure patients developed cancer compared to 16.2% of those without heart failure. Women had higher rates of cancer overall. 28.6% of women with heart failure developed cancer during the period, whereas 18.8% without heart failure did. The corresponding rates for men were 23.2% and 13.8%. 

The researchers reported that significant associations were found between heart failure and all types of cancer observed. The greatest increase in risk however was observed for cancer of the lip, oral cavity and pharynx, followed by respiratory organ cancer. Female genital organ cancer, skin tumors and lymphoid and haematopoietic tissue cancer were also more prominent among those with heart failure. 

"Our results allow us to speculate that there may be a causal relationship between heart failure and an increased rate of cancer.” says Dr. Mark Luedde, one of the authors behind the study, “This is biologically plausible, as there is experimental evidence that factors secreted by the failing heart may stimulate tumour growth."

Currently, cancer patients who have received drugs that impact their heart are monitored for heart failure. The researchers say that their findings, alongside previous studies, suggest that heart failure patients should also be monitored for cancer development. 

Yet, while interesting results, the researchers caution that their study was observational in nature and thus does not prove that heart failure causes cancer. They also added that their database did not include certain lifestyle choices which could have influenced their results such as information on smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity. 

 

Sources: News MedicalESC Heart Failure

About the Author
Other
Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
You May Also Like
OCT 06, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
It’s that time of year again! Three scientists, Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal, and K. Barry Sharpless, were a ...
OCT 12, 2022
Plants & Animals
Mediterranean Diet Improves Immunotherapy Response in Advanced Melanoma Patients
Mediterranean Diet Improves Immunotherapy Response in Advanced Melanoma Patients
The Mediterranean diet has been popularized in recent years for its wide-ranging health benefits. Among the many health ...
OCT 17, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
New Study Shows Biological Differences in the Second-Most Common Type of Breast Cancer
New Study Shows Biological Differences in the Second-Most Common Type of Breast Cancer
Though invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is the second-most common type of breast cancer, it has historically been resear ...
OCT 28, 2022
Cancer
Pancreatic Tumor Growth and Metastasis Inhibited
Pancreatic Tumor Growth and Metastasis Inhibited
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), a highly aggressive type of pancreatic cancer, has a very poor prognosis due, a ...
JAN 31, 2023
Drug Discovery & Development
Spun Threads and Computer Models Determine the Best Dose for Pancreatic Cancer Drug
Spun Threads and Computer Models Determine the Best Dose for Pancreatic Cancer Drug
We have the drug-infused threads, now these computational models can show us how to use them to treat pancreatic cancer
FEB 02, 2023
Cancer
Cancer Patients at Elevated Risk of Suicide
Cancer Patients at Elevated Risk of Suicide
A recent report published in JAMA Network Open investigated the suicide risk associated with cancer in the United States ...
Loading Comments...