Predicted Heart Age Among Cancer Survivors — United States, 2013–2017
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Predicted Heart Age Among Cancer Survivors — United States, 2013–2017

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
    • Description:
      Approximately 15.5 million cancer survivors were alive in the United States in 2016 with expected growth to 26.1 million by 2040 (1). Cancer survivors are living longer because of advances in early detection and treatment, but face psychosocial, cognitive, financial, and physical challenges (1,2). Physical challenges include cardiovascular Complications, partly because cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD) share some cumulative risk factors including tobacco use, physical inactivity, obesity, poor diet, hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia (3). In addition, many cancer treatments damage the heart, and some cancer types increase risk for developing CVD (4). The recognition and management of heart disease in cancer survivors has given rise to the discipline of cardio-oncology, which focuses on the cardiovascular health of this population (5). CVD risk has been previously estimated using prediction models, and studies suggest that physician-patient communication using predicted heart age rather than predicted 10-year risk has led to a more accurate perception of excess heart age, encouraged actions to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and improved modifiable CVD risk factors (6,7). Using the nonlaboratory-based Framingham Risk Score (FRS) to estimate 10-year risk for developing CVD, predicted heart age is estimated from the 10-year risk of CVD (predicted by age, sex, diabetes status, smoking status, systolic blood pressure, hypertension treatment status, and body mass index); it is the age of an otherwise healthy person with the same predicted risk, with all other risk factors included in the prediction model at the normal level (systolic blood pressure of 125 mmHg, no hypertension treatment, body mass index of 22.5, nonsmoker, and nondiabetic) (6). Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), this study estimates predicted heart age, excess heart age (difference between predicted heart age and actual age), and racial/ethnic and sociodemographic disparities in predicted heart age among U.S. adult cancer survivors and noncancer participants aged 30-74 years using previously published Methods (7). A total of 22,759 men and 46,294 women were cancer survivors with a mean age of 48.7 and 48.3 years, respectively. The predicted heart age and excess heart age among cancer survivors were 57.2 and 8.5 years, respectively, for men and 54.8 and 6.5 years, respectively, for women, and varied by age, race/ethnicity, education and income. The use of predicted heart age by physicians to encourage cancer survivors to improve modifiable risk factors and make heart healthy choices, such as tobacco cessation, regular physical activity, and a healthy diet to maintain a healthy weight, can engage survivors in informed cancer care planning after Diagnosis.
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