A novel study entitled “Cardiovascular Disease After Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment40-Year Disease Risk”and published in JAMA Internal Medicine has found that Hodgkin lymphoma survivors have a higher probability of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a treatable cancer with the majority of patients presenting 10-year survival rates. HL treatment has been associated with higher risks for other tumors and cardiovascular diseases, with the latter possibly due to the effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
In this study, the research team evaluated the probability of HL patients developing cardiovascular disease in the 40 years following therapy along with therapy-associated risk factors. Researchers analyzed 2,524 Dutch patients with HL younger than 51 years of age who were treated between 1965 and 1995 and survived for 5 years after diagnosis. HL therapy included chest radiotherapy and anthracycline agents for chemotherapy.
The authors found that the most common cardiovascular condition was coronary heart disease, followed by valvular heart disease and heart failure. The average period between Hodgkin lymphoma therapy and first coronary heart disease, valvular heart disease and heart failure were of 18, 24 and 19 years, respectively. When compared with the average population there was a 4 and 7 times higher probability of developing coronary heart disease or heart failure 35 years or more after therapy for Hodgkin lymphoma.
Overall, the study revealed that chest radiotherapy and anthracycline-containing chemotherapy increased the probability of coronary heart disease, valvular heart disease and heart failure, respectively. Furthermore, it also increased coronary heart disease and heart failure as first conditions when compared with patients who were not submitted to these therapies.
Based on these findings, the authors highlight the need for patients with HL as well as clinicians to be conscious of the increased probability of cardiovascular conditions as well as the necessary procedures for patients’ follow-up.