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Cardiovascular mortality in renal cell carcinoma: A population-based study

  • Michail Alevizakos,
  • Apostolos Gaitanidis,
  • Leonard Joseph Appleman

Background:

Patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) often harbor risk factors for cardiovascular disease and may receive anti-VEGF agents, which are associated with cardiovascular toxicity. However, the risk for cardiovascular mortality in this patient population is currently unknown.

Methods:
Utilizing the SEER database, we identified patients with RCC diagnosed between 2007 (approval of sunitinib) and 2015 and selected patients aged ≥45 years. We calculated standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for cardiovascular mortality (ICD-10 codes I00-I99) by comparing the number of observed deaths in the database to the number of expected deaths in age-matched groups of the US general population drawn from the CDC WONDER database. Multivariable Cox regression was used to identify risk factors for cardiovascular mortality in patients with RCC.

Results:
We identified 36,576 patients with RCC, of which 33,748 (92.3%) were ≥45 years old and among these, 1650 (4.9%) died of cardiovascular diseases. The SMR for cardiovascular mortality was 2.85 (95% CI 2.72-2.99) for all patients, 2.78 (95% CI 2.62-2.95) for males and 2.86 (95% CI 2.64-3.10) for females. Among the various age groups, the SMR was 4.75 (95% CI 3.82-5.84) for patients aged 45-54 years, 3.35 (95% CI 2.93-3.83) for patients aged 55-64 years, 2.75 (95% CI 2.49-3.04) for patients aged 65-74 years, 2.25 (95% CI 2.07-2.45) for patients aged 75-84 years, and 1.47 (95% CI 1.33-1.61) for patients aged > 85 years. In multivariate analysis, advancing age (HR 1.06, 95% CI 1.06-1.07), male sex (HR 1.18, 95% CI 1.05-1.33), black race (HR 1.48, 95% CI 1.27-1.73), stage IV disease (HR 1.21, 95% CI 1.01-1.45), and performance of surgery directed to the primary tumor (HR 0.33, 95% CI 0.29-0.38) were independently associated with cardiovascular mortality.

Conclusions:
Patients with RCC possess an almost 3-fold greater risk for cardiovascular mortality than the general population and this risk is even more pronounced in middle-aged patients. Aggressive management of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors in this patient population is thus warranted.