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Atrial fibrillation patients more likely to develop cancer

16 Oct 2019

The risk of cancer is higher among patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), a recent study has found. Among important risk factors are comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension and liver cirrhosis.

The study included 332,555 AF patients (mean age, 70.8±13.1 years; 55.2 percent male) with no history of cancer, enrolled from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database. Cancer incidence data in the general population were retrieved from the National Cancer Registry. Majority of the participants had hypertension.

Over a median follow-up of 3.1 years, 22,911 incident cases of cancer were observed, leading to an incidence rate of 1.65 percent per year. This was higher in males than in females (1.92 vs 1.31 percent per year).

The peak of cancer incidence occurred a year after AF diagnosis, with 7,413 such cases. The corresponding rate was 2.65 percent per year. This was significantly higher than rates of cancer incidence 10 years after AF incidence (incidence risk ratio, 10.20, 95 percent CI, 9.57–10.89).

AF patients likewise suffered from a significantly elevated risk of cancer relative to general population controls (standardized incidence ratio [SIR], 1.37, 1.36–1.39). This remained true even after disaggregation according to sex: males (SIR, 1.37, 1.35–1.40) and females (SIR, 1.37, 1.34–1.40). This relationship also remained significant across all age categories.

Multivariable Cox regression analysis found that significant predictors of cancer among AF patients were age 65 years, male sex, hypertension, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and liver cirrhosis. The incidence of cancer in patients with all six risk factors was 2.76 percent per year, as compared to only 0.70 percent per year in AF patients without any risk factor.

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Most Read Articles
3 days ago
Older women with longer endogenous oestrogen exposure and hormone therapy use are at much higher odds of having favourable cognitive status in late life, a recent study suggests.
Yesterday
In patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and stable coronary artery disease (CAD), rivaroxaban monotherapy is noninferior to combination treatment with an antiplatelet therapy in terms of cutting the risk of cardiovascular events and mortality, according to data from the AFIRE trial.
Elvira Manzano, 2 days ago
Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids or vitamin D3 for up to 5 years has no effect on kidney function in adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D), the VITAL-DKD* ancillary study has shown.
3 days ago
Better sleep appears to weaken pain and fatigue in older, community-dwelling adults with hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA), reports a recent study.