Postmenopausal Women

Breast cancer patients have a higher mortality risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) than women from the general population.  Postmenopausal women who survived breast cancer are more likely to develop risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared with women without a history of breast cancer, according to study results publish in Menopause.

Research indicates that the risk for CVD is increase in women who have been treated for breast cancer. Menopause is a stage in life when a woman stops having her monthly period. It is a normal part of aging and marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years.

CVD risk factors older women who survived breast cancer

In this cross-sectional study, 96 postmenopausal breast cancer survivors were compared with 192 postmenopausal women. In study, researchers aim to compare the development of specific CVD risk factors between older women who survived breast cancer (n=96) and women without a history of breast cancer (n=192).

All participants women aged 45 to 75 years with amenorrhea >12 months and without established CVD. The researchers match participants 1:2 by age, time since menopause, and body mass index. However the control group fulfill the same criteria, but did not have breast cancer.

However, participants who had ≥3 of the following symptoms were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome: waist circumference >88 cm; triglycerides ≥150 mg/dL; high-density lipoprotein cholesterol <50 mg/dL; blood pressure ≥130/85 mm Hg; and fasting glucose levels ≥100 mg/dL.

The researchers used immuno assays to measure plasma concentrations of heat shock proteins (HSP) 60 and 70. They used intima-media thickness (>1 mm) of the carotid arteries and/or the presence of atheromatous plaque to determine atherosclerotic disease. But the results indicated that participants with breast cancer had higher HSP60 and lower HSP70 levels compared with controls (P <.0001).

Atherosclerotic disease, diabetes in postmenopausal women

But compared with women without breast cancer, those who receive treatment for breast cancer had a higher odds ratio (OR) for the development of metabolic syndrome, atheromatous plaque , diabetes , hypertriglyceridemia , and increased waist circumference .

“As this is a comparative study with a control group, it could determine that breast cancer survivors had a higher odds ratio of developing atherosclerotic disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertriglyceridemia, and abdominal obesity, which are major risk factors associate with CVD,” the researchers wrote.

“Elevated cardiovascular risk in these patients may be more concerning than cancer risk in the medium to long term. Therefore, women diagnosed with breast cancer might receive multidisciplinary care, including cardiology consultation at the time of breast cancer diagnosis and also during oncologic follow-up visits.”