Age-dependent increased odds for cardiovascular risk factors in cancer survivors: Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging cohort

Keywords: survivorship, cardiovascular risk factors, hypertension, obesity, smoking, physical activity


Background This study compared the odds of self-reported and objectively-measured cardiovascular (cv) risk factors in a sample of Canadian cancer survivors and individuals without cancer.

Methods A nationally representative sample of 45- to 85-year-old cancer survivors (n = 6288) in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging were compared with individuals without cancer (n = 44,051).

Results The most prevalent risk factors in cancer survivors were all self-reported or easily measured in clinic: overweight or obesity (68.0%), former smoking (62.9%), less than 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables (59.8%), hypertension (43.7%), and high waist circumference (47.0%). After adjustment for sex and education, the odds ratios for several cv risk factors varied by age in cancer survivors and the non-cancer controls. At ages 50 and 60, cancer survivors have increased odds of overweight or obesity, former smoking, hypertension, high waist circumference and truncal fat, diabetes, lung disease, and heart rate greater than 80 bpm compared with the non-cancer controls. At age 70, odds did not differ for many risk factors; at age 80, no differences were evident. Without modification by age, low physical activity was more prevalent in cancer survivors (odds ratio: 1.27; 95% confidence interval: 1.17 to 1.39). There were no differences in the odds of cv risk factors measured by specialized equipment, including electro­cardiography, carotid ultrasonography, spirometry, and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.

Conclusions The odds of several easy-to-assess cv disease risk factors are higher among middle-aged, but not older, cancer survivors relative to the general Canadian population. Initial assessment of cv risk for middle-aged adults in the survivorship setting could be quickly and inexpensively performed using self-reported and easily measured metrics.

Author Biographies

A.A. Kirkham, University of Toronto, University of Alberta

Current: Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, former: Department of Biomedical Engineering 

E. Pituskin, University of Alberta

Faculty of Nursing

How to Cite
Kirkham, A., Pituskin, E., & Neil-Sztramko, S. (2020). Age-dependent increased odds for cardiovascular risk factors in cancer survivors: Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging cohort. Current Oncology, 27(4).
Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship