Live Virtual Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2020

Why are you talking to me about my heart?  CVD risk stratification to identify high-risk patients  (#104)

Robyn A Clark 1
  1. Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Background: Cardiotoxicity from anticancer therapy affects heart function and structure. Cardiotoxicity can also lead to accelerated development of chronic diseases, especially in the presence of risk factors. Methods: This study aimed to develop and pilot a combined cardiovascular disease and cardiotoxicity risk assessment questionnaire to quantify the potential extent of risk factors in breast cancer patients prior to treatment. The questionnaire underwent content and face validity evaluation by an expert panel followed by pilot testing in a sample of breast cancer patients (n = 36). Questionnaires were self-administered while attending chemotherapy clinic, in the presence of a research assistant. Results: Mean age of participants was 54.8 years (range 36–72 years). Participants reported CVD risk factors including diabetes 2.8%, hypertension 19.8%, hypercholesterolaemia 11% and sleep apnoea 5%. Lifestyle risk factors, included not eating the recommended serves of vegetables (100%) or fruit (78%) per day; smoking (13%) and regularly consuming alcohol (75%). Twenty five percent reported being physically inactive, 61%, overweight or obese, 24%, little or no social support and 30% recorded high to very high psychological distress. Participants were highly (75%) reluctant to undertake lifestyle changes; i.e. changing alcohol consumption; dietary habits; good emotional/mental health strategies; improving physical activity; quitting smoking; learning about heart-health and weight loss. Conclusion: This study is an important step towards prevention and management of treatment-associated cardiotoxicity after breast cancer diagnosis. We recommend that our questionnaire is providing important data that should be included in cancer registries so that researchers can establish the relationship between CVD risk profile and cardiotoxicity outcomes and that this study revealed important teaching opportunities that could be used to examine the impact on health literacy and help patients better understand the consequences of cancer treatment.

  1. 1. Clark RA, Marin TS, Berry NM, John J. Atherton JJ, Foote JW, Koczwara B. Cardiotoxicity and cardiovascular disease risk assessment for patients receiving breast cancer treatment. Cardio-Oncology. 2017;3(1):6. DOI 10.1186/s40959-017-0025-7.