Increased risk of heart arrhythmia and death in the first year with breast cancer |


Women are significantly more likely to develop heart arrhythmia (atrial fibrillation) during the first year after being diagnosed with breast cancer, according to a new US scientific study, the first to make this correlation.

Also, women with atrial fibrillation after breast cancer are three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease within the next year after being diagnosed with cancer.

The researchers, led by Assistant Professor of Medicine Avirup Guha of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, who published the study in the European Heart Journal, analyzed data from 85,423 women over the age of 66 diagnosed with breast cancer. so many other healthy. During the year following the diagnosis, twice as many (4%) developed cardiac arrhythmias, compared with 2% among women without cancer.

Atrial fibrillation was more common in women who had not had surgery or radiation therapy for their cancer than those who had received these treatments (23.5% vs. 10.4% and 66.5% vs. 52.3%). , respectively). On the other hand, more complex surgeries, such as mastectomies (total breast removal), were associated with a higher risk of heart arrhythmia later than simpler surgeries, such as breast removal.

Also, the incidence of heart arrhythmia was higher in women who had advanced cancer at the time of diagnosis (15% for stage 4 disease) than in women who had early stage cancer (6%). Twice as many women (0.6%) developed cardiac arrhythmia within the first 60 days after being diagnosed with breast cancer, compared with those who developed arrhythmia after 60 days (0.3%).

“The two main findings of the new study are that atrial fibrillation after being diagnosed with breast cancer increases deaths due to heart and vascular problems, and that the severity of the cancer is a strong risk factor for atrial fibrillation,” he said. Dr. Gouha.

The study found that women with cardiac arrhythmia before the cancer were diagnosed did not have an increased risk of dying from any cause within the first year of being diagnosed with cancer. About 85% were alive after one year, compared with 62% of women who developed atrial fibrillation after being diagnosed with cancer. The latter were estimated to have about twice the risk of death as the former during the first year after being diagnosed with cancer.

The researchers note that the biological mechanisms that explain why there is an increased risk of heart arrhythmia and cardiovascular death after breast cancer are not clear, without ruling out that the cancer itself adversely affects heart function and not just anti-cancer therapies.


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