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Tachycardia May Indicate Higher Mortality Risk in Cancer Patients

Tachycardia significantly predicts mortality in lung cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma

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MONDAY, Jan. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with cancer, tachycardia can predict the risk for mortality, according to a study presented at the Advancing the Cardiovascular Care of the Oncology Patient conference organized by the American College of Cardiology and held from Jan. 25 to 27 in Washington, D.C.

Tochi M. Okwuosa, D.O. from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues conducted a retrospective case-control study involving 622 cancer patients with lung cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma from 2008 to 2016. The correlation between tachycardia and mortality was examined in model 1, which adjusted for age plus covariates that were significantly different between patients with a heart rate of ≥100 and <100 bpm, and in model 2, which adjusted for age and other clinically relevant characteristics.

Of the patients, 69.4 percent had stage 4 cancer and 43 percent had lung cancer. The researchers found that 50 patients had tachycardia and 572 did not have tachycardia. In both models, tachycardia was a significant predictor of overall mortality (hazard ratios, 3.1 and 2.8, respectively).

"We are continuously learning about the unique heart disease risks that face cancer patients, and our study shows that tachycardia is a strong prognosticator regardless of cancer type. That's why it is critically important to be co-managing both cancer and heart conditions to ensure patients receive the most effective treatment possible," Okwuosa said in a statement. "However, we need to do more studies to determine whether management of tachycardia in cancer patients will have any effect on survival."

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