Underdiagnosis and Undertreatment of Modifiable Cardiovascular Risk Factors Among Survivors of Childhood Cancer

 Eric Chow et al. JAHA 2022



Determine the prevalence and predictors associated with underdiagnosis and undertreatment of modifiable cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors (hypertension, dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance/diabetes) among adult survivors of childhood cancer at high risk of premature CVD.


This was a cross‐sectional study of adult‐aged survivors of childhood cancer treated with anthracyclines or chest radiotherapy, recruited across 9 US metropolitan regions. Survivors completed questionnaires and in‐home clinical assessments. The comparator group was a matched sample from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Multivariable logistic regression estimated the risk (odds ratios) of CVD risk factor underdiagnosis and undertreatment among survivors compared with the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Survivors (n=571; median age, 37.7 years and 28.5 years from cancer diagnosis) were more likely to have a preexisting CVD risk factor than the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (n=345; P<0.05 for all factors). While rates of CVD risk factor underdiagnosis were similar (27.1% survivors versus 26.1% National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; P=0.73), survivors were more likely undertreated (21.0% versus 13.9%, P=0.007; odds ratio, 1.8, 95% CI, 1.2–2.7). Among survivors, the most underdiagnosed and undertreated risk factors were hypertension (18.9%) and dyslipidemia (16.3%), respectively. Men and survivors who were overweight/obese were more likely to be underdiagnosed and undertreated. Those with multiple adverse lifestyle factors were also more likely undertreated (odds ratio, 2.2, 95% CI, 1.1–4.5). Greater health‐related self‐efficacy was associated with reduced undertreatment (odds ratio, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.3–0.8).


Greater awareness of among primary care providers and cardiologists, combined with improving self‐efficacy among survivors, may mitigate the risk of underdiagnosed and undertreated CVD risk factors among adult‐aged survivors of childhood cancer.

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