Opportunities for improved cardiovascular disease prevention in oncology patients

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Purpose of review Cancer patients often have cardiovascular risk factors at the time of cancer diagnosis, which are known to increase the risk of cardiotoxicity. Cancer survivors have significantly higher cardiovascular risk. Current cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines are based on studies that largely excluded these patients. We reviewed recent data regarding cardiovascular disease prevention in this population. Recent findings Nonpharmacologic therapies aiming to reduce 'lifestyle toxicity' produced by cancer treatments have demonstrated potential to decrease the incidence of adverse outcomes. Exercise before, during and after cancer treatment not only promotes higher quality of life and cardiorespiratory fitness but also reduces adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Lipid and cardiometabolic disease management is paramount but predominantly based on data that excludes these populations of cancer patients and survivors. Summary A comprehensive approach including medical evaluation, prescriptive exercise, cardiac risk factor modification, education, counseling, pharmacologic and behavioral interventions are needed in cancer patients. These interventions constitute the core of cardio-oncology rehabilitation programs, which if implemented appropriately may help reduce cardiovascular events in this population. Knowledge gaps in these areas are starting to be addressed by ongoing clinical trials.




Bravo-Jaimes, K., Marcellon, R., Varanitskaya, L., Kim, P. Y., Iliescu, C., Gilchrist, S. C., … Lopez-Mattei, J. C. (2020, September 1). Opportunities for improved cardiovascular disease prevention in oncology patients. Current Opinion in Cardiology. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. https://doi.org/10.1097/HCO.0000000000000767

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