Adult survivors of childhood cancer are more likely to devel
People who survived childhood cancer were more than twice as likely as the general population to have high blood pressure according to a research published journal of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Improvements in treatment have dramatically increased survival rates from pediatric cancers, with about 83 percent of children surviving at least five years and many becoming long-term survivors. However, many suffer long-term side effects.

High blood pressure is an important modifiable risk factor that increases risk of heart problems in everyone. Research has shown that high blood pressure can have an even greater negative impact on survivors of childhood cancer who were treated with cardiotoxic therapies such as anthracyclines or chest radiation.

The study showed that the prevalence of hypertension was 2.6 times higher among childhood cancer survivors than expected, based on age-, sex-, race- and body mass index-specific rates in the general population.The prevalence of hypertension increased over time: At age 30, 13 percent of the survivors had hypertension; at 40, 37 percent had hypertension, and by age 50, more than 70 percent of the survivors had hypertension. The authors said that prevalence of hypertension in cancer survivors matched rates in the general population of people about a decade older. The study found that exposure to radiotherapy or chemotherapy were not significantly associated with hypertension.

The authors concluded that the lack of association between high blood pressure and radiotherapy and chemotherapy was surprising, and suggests that the connection between childhood cancer survival and adult hypertension is multifactorial and worthy of future research. In the meantime, he said, clinicians should be mindful that survivors of childhood cancer are more likely than the general public to develop high blood pressure.

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