Stroke risk factors increase among breast cancer survivors

January 30, 2019

DALLAS, Jan. 30, 2019 -- Risk factors for stroke rise sharply in post-menopausal women in the first year after they are diagnosed with breast cancer, according to preliminary research to be presented in Honolulu at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2019, a world premier meeting for researchers and clinicians dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease.

Cancer is a well-known risk factor for stroke, but it is unclear if the risk further increases with long-term survival or whether the stage of cancer and receiving hormonal therapy affect stroke risk particularly in post-menopausal breast cancer.

Researchers examined changes in the Framingham Stroke Risk Score (FSRS) after breast cancer diagnosis among women included in a Virginia cancer registry. Of 2,141 eligible women (average age 64 at diagnosis), there was complete information to calculate the five-factor Framingham Stroke Risk in 616 women.

Researchers found: "Prevention and control of high blood pressure and diabetes should be a target of intervention to reduce the stroke risk among post-menopausal breast cancer survivors," said Kyungeh An, R.N., Ph.D., lead study author and an associate professor of nursing at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

The study is limited by the small fraction of women in the registry who had all measurements available to calculate the FSRS, and by the lack of a comparison group of women of similar age without breast cancer. Information from this study in Virginia may not be generalizable to other populations.
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Kyungeh An, R.N., Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA.

Note: Scientific presentation is 6:30 p.m. HT/11:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019.

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About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke -- the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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