Cancer history impacts treatment for heart attack patients

Cancer patients were found to receive fewer recommended drugs and treatments for myocardial infarction, and had a higher risk of death.
By Amy Wallace  |  Sept. 20, 2017 at 11:25 AM
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Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Research shows treatment and outcomes for heart attack patients can depend on if they have a history of cancer diagnosis.

A study, published Tuesday in the European Heart Journal: Acute Cardiovascular Care, of 35,249 heart attack patients found that they were less likely to receive recommended drugs and interventions and are at an increased risk of dying in the hospital if they had cancer compared to those who have not.

"It is well known that cancer patients may have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease as a result of their treatment," Dr. Dragana Radovanovic, head of the AMIS Plus Data Centre in Zurich, Switzerland, said in a press release. "However, on the other hand, little is known about the treatment and outcomes of cancer patients who have an acute myocardial infarction."

The study followed patients enrolled in the acute myocardial infarction in Switzerland, or AMIS Plus, registry from 2002 to 2015, and found that 1,981 of those patients also had a history of cancer.

Researchers found that cancer patients percutaneous coronary intervention, or PCI, to open blocked arteries less frequently and received P2Y12 blockers and statins less frequently as well.

Mortality rates in hospital were significantly higher in patients with cancer compared to those without cancer.

Cancer patients had a 44 percent higher risk of cardiogenic shock, a 47 percent higher risk of bleeding and a 67 percent higher risk of developing heart failure compared to patients without cancer.

"Patients with a history of cancer were less likely to receive evidence-based treatments for myocardial infarction," Radovanovic said. "They were 24 percent less likely to undergo PCI, 18 percent less likely to receive P2Y12 antagonists and 13 percent less likely to receive statins. They had also more complications and were 45 percent more likely to die while in hospital. More research is needed to find out why cancer patients receive suboptimal treatment for myocardial infarction and have poorer outcomes."

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