Cardiology

Aromatase Inhibitors and the Risk of Cardiovascular Outcomes in Women With Breast Cancer: A Population-Based Cohort Study.



Aromatase Inhibitors and the Risk of Cardiovascular Outcomes in Women With Breast Cancer: A Population-Based Cohort Study.

Circulation. 2020 Feb 18;141(7):549-559

Authors: Khosrow-Khavar F, Filion KB, Bouganim N, Suissa S, Azoulay L

Abstract
BACKGROUND: The association between aromatase inhibitors and cardiovascular outcomes among women with breast cancer is controversial. Given the discrepant findings from randomized controlled trials and observational studies, additional studies are needed to address this safety concern.
METHODS: We conducted a population-based cohort study using the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink linked to the Hospital Episode Statistics and Office for National Statistics databases. The study population consisted of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer initiating hormonal therapy with aromatase inhibitors or tamoxifen between April 1, 1998, and February 29, 2016. We usedCox proportional hazards models with inverse probability of treatment and censoring weighting to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% CIs comparing new users of aromatase inhibitors with new users of tamoxifen for each of the study outcomes (myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, heart failure, and cardiovascular mortality).
RESULTS: The study population consisted of 23 525 patients newly diagnosed with breast cancer, of whom 17 922 initiated treatment with either an aromatase inhibitor or tamoxifen (8139 and 9783, respectively). The use of aromatase inhibitors was associated with a significantly increased risk of heart failure (incidence rate, 5.4 versus 1.8 per 1000 person-years; HR, 1.86 [95% CI, 1.14-3.03]) and cardiovascular mortality (incidence rate, 9.5 versus 4.7 per 1000 person-years; HR, 1.50 [95% CI, 1.11-2.04]) compared with the use of tamoxifen. Aromatase inhibitors were associated with elevated HRs, but with CIs including the null value, for myocardial infarction (incidence rate, 3.9 versus 1.8 per 1000 person-years; HR, 1.37 [95% CI, 0.88-2.13]) and ischemic stroke (incidence rate, 5.6 versus 3.2 per 1000 person-years; HR, 1.19 [95% CI, 0.82-1.72]).
CONCLUSIONS: In this population-based study, aromatase inhibitors were associated with increased risks of heart failure and cardiovascular mortality compared with tamoxifen. There were also trends toward increased risks, although nonsignificant, of myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke. The increased risk of cardiovascular events associated with aromatase inhibitors should be balanced with their favorable clinical benefits compared with tamoxifen.

PMID: 32065766 [PubMed – in process]

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