Background: The extent to which co-occurrence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer is due to shared risk factors or other mechanisms is unknown. Objectives: This study investigated the association of standard CVD risk factors, CVD biomarkers, pre-existing CVD, and ideal cardiovascular (CV) health metrics with the development of future cancer. Methods: This study prospectively followed Framingham Heart Study and PREVEND (Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-Stage Disease) study participants free of cancer at baseline and ascertained histology-proven cancer. This study assessed the association of baseline CV risk factors, 10-year atherosclerotic (ASCVD) risk score, established CVD biomarkers, prevalent CVD, and the American Heart Association (AHA) Life's Simple 7 CV health score with incident cancer using multivariable Cox models. Analyses of interim CVD events with incident cancer used time-dependent covariates. Results: Among 20,305 participants (mean age 50 ± 14 years; 54% women), 2,548 incident cancer cases occurred over a median follow-up of 15.0 years (quartile 1 to 3: 13.3 to 15.0 years). Traditional CVD risk factors, including age, sex, and smoking status, were independently associated with cancer (p < 0.001 for all). Estimated 10-year ASCVD risk was also associated with future cancer (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.16 per 5% increase in risk; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14 to 1.17; p < 0.001). The study found that natriuretic peptides (tertile 3 vs. tertile 1; HR: 1.40; 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.91; p = 0.035) were associated with incident cancer but not high-sensitivity troponin (p = 0.47). Prevalent CVD and the development of interim CV events were not associated with higher risk of subsequent cancer. However, ideal CV health was associated with lower future cancer risk (HR: 0.95 per 1-point increase in the AHA health score; 95% CI: 0.92 to 0.99; p = 0.009). Conclusions: CVD risk, as captured by traditional CVD risk factors, 10-year ASCVD risk score, and natriuretic peptide concentrations are associated with increased risk of future cancer. Conversely, a heart healthy lifestyle is associated with a lower risk of future cancer. These data suggest that the association between CVD and future cancer is attributable to shared risk factors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine