AHA: Ideal Cardiovascular Health Tied to Cancer Risk

The number of ideal cardiovascular health metrics correlates inversely with cancer incidence

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Ideal cardiovascular health (measured according to the number of ideal cardiovascular health metrics) is associated with lower cancer incidence, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011, held from Nov. 12 to 16 in Orlando, Fla.

Laura J. Rasmussen-Torvik, Ph.D., M.P.H., from Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues examined the association between ideal cardiovascular health metrics and cancer incidence. Baseline cardiovascular health metrics (smoking, body mass index, physical activity, diet, cholesterol, blood pressure, and serum fasting glucose) were measured in 13,360 individuals with no history of cancer between 1987 and 1989. Analysis was based on the total number of ideal health metrics per person. Data from cancer registries were used to calculate the incidence of breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer from 1987 to 2006.

The investigators found colon, lung, female breast, and prostate cancer in 332, 418, 526, and 613 cases respectively; and 1,833 incident cancer cases (all four cancers combined) through 2006. There was a significant inverse association between the number of ideal health metrics and cancer incidence (adjusted cancer incidence rate per 1,000 person years varied from 10.37 for zero ideal health metrics to 6.74 for five to seven ideal health metrics; hazard ratio for five to seven health metrics, 0.62). The association was no longer significant when smoking was removed from the sum of the ideal health metrics, but the pattern of lower cancer incidence in those individuals with more ideal health metrics persisted.

"Ideal cardiovascular health metrics are also collectively associated with lower cancer incidence," the authors write.

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