01 August 2022

The risk of death from heart disease is raised for long-term survivors of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is higher than their risk of dying from cancer, according to a new analysis published in the journal Cancer.

A team of researchers from Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, set out to measure trends of cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality in patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

They analysed outcomes for 15,889 patients of all ages diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma from 1983 to 2015. Most previous studies involving cardiovascular side effects in Hodgkin’s lymphoma focused only on children or young adults, with few observing patients diagnosed at all ages.

The results showed that, for people diagnosed with early (Stage 1 or 2) Hodgkin’s disease, the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease at five and ten years “exceeded that of Hodgkin lymphoma and other neoplasms and became the leading cause of death over time”.

This trend was not influenced by factors such as age at diagnosis, race, sex, and whether or not surgery was performed.

The authors report: “In recent decades, the risk of Hodgkin lymphoma mortality declined sharply, but the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality among patients with Hodgkin lymphoma declined quite slowly or even remained unchanged among some populations.”

"Minimising long-term cardiovascular complications and mortality appears to be a particularly important strategy to improve the quality of life of Hodgkin lymphoma survivors.”

Researcher Dr Caiwen Ou said: “We conducted this study because cardiovascular disease may be the most common non-malignant long-term complication and a prevalent cause for non-malignant death following treatment in Hodgkin lymphoma survivors.”

Co-author Dr Weijing Feng added: “Our results indicate that more effective measures are needed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease-related deaths in classic Hodgkin lymphoma survivors.”


Lu Z, Teng Y, Ning X, Wang H, Feng W, Ou C. (2022) “Long-term risk of cardiovascular disease mortality among classic Hodgkin lymphoma survivors” Cancer, doi:10.1002/cncr.34375

Link: https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.34375  

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