A new study published May 29 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism finds that men and women who survive thyroid cancer have a sharply increased risk for heart diseases.
According to co-author Mia Hashibe, a researcher at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City males and overweight survivors are particularly at risk.
“Our study found that male thyroid cancer survivors have an almost 50 percent higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases than women, while thyroid cancer survivors with obesity have a 41 percent higher risk,” he said.
The research also related low levels of thyroid stimulating hormone with a 25 percent greater risk of heart diseases.
For the study, Hashibe’s team used the Utah Population Database to collect medical data on nearly 4,000 thyroid cancer survivors over 15 years.
The researchers looked at risk factors, treatment effects and heart diseases outcomes.
They found that sex, weight and thyroid-stimulating hormone therapy were associated with higher risk for heart disease within five years after cancer was diagnosed.
Thyroid cancer is the fastest-growing cancer in the United States for both men and women, with more than 62,000 new cases diagnosed every year.
Thyroid cancer is often diagnosed in young adults and has a five-year survival rate of 98 percent.
“Our findings suggest that thyroid cancer survivors should be continuously monitored and screened for cardiovascular disease for both earlier detection and better preventative care,” Hashibe said in a journal news release.