The underutilization of preventive cardiovascular measures in patients with cancer: An analysis of the behavioural risk factor surveillance system, 2011-22

Document Type



Cardiology; Office of the Provost


Aims: This study aimed to characterize the influence of a cancer diagnosis on the use of preventive cardiovascular measures in patients with and without cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Methods and results: Data from the Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (spanning 2011-22) were used. Multivariable logistic regression models adjusted for potential confounders were applied to calculate average marginal effects (AME), the average difference in the probability of using a given therapy between patients with and without cancer. Outcomes of interest included the use of pharmacological therapies, physical activity, smoking cessation, and post-CVD rehabilitation. Among 5 012 721 respondents, 579 114 reported a history of CVD (coronary disease or stroke), and 842 221 reported a diagnosis of cancer. The association between cancer and the use of pharmacological therapies varied between those with vs. without CVD (P-value for interaction: Conclusion: Preventive pharmacological agents are underutilized in those with cancer and concomitant CVD, and physical activity is underutilized in patients with cancer in those with or without CVD.
Lay summary: •This paper compared the use of preventive cardiovascular measures, both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical, in patients with and without cancer.•In patients with cardiovascular disease and cancer, there is a lower use of preventive cardiovascular medications compared with those with cardiovascular disease but without cancer. This includes a lower utilization of blood pressure-lowering medications, cholesterol-lowering medications, and aspirin.•Patients with cancer reported lower levels of exercise but higher levels of smoking cessation compared with those without cancer

Publication (Name of Journal)

European Journal of Preventive Cardiology