Heart Failure Risk Among Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivors

Lisa Schulmeister, RN, MN, APRN-BC, FAAN

Survivors of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) are at a greater risk of heart failure than the general population, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Survivors of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) are at a greater risk of heart failure than the general population, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Researchers from several countries, including the United States, used a cancer registry in Denmark to identify adults diagnosed with NHL. Using sex- and age-matched general population controls, the researchers sought to determine if the use of anthracycline chemotherapy is associated with heart failure among NHL survivors. The survivors were also assessed for preexisting cardiovascular factors (hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes) and preexisting cardiovascular disease.

Among 2508 survivors of NHL and 7399 controls, there was a 42% increased risk of heart failure among NHL survivors compared with general population controls. Among the survivors (median age at diagnosis, 62 years; 56% male), 115 were diagnosed with heart failure during follow-up (2.5 median years of follow-up). Before NHL diagnosis, 39% had one or more cardiovascular risk factors and 92% had been treated with anthracycline-containing regimens.

The researchers concluded that preexisting cardiovascular conditions are associated with increased risk of heart failure, and patients need to be assessed for these risk factors prior to initiating anthracycline or other potentially cardiotoxic regimens. Study findings are available here.