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Thyroid Cancer Survivors at Risk for Heart Disease

TUESDAY, May 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Men and women who survive thyroid cancer have a sharply increased risk for heart disease, a new study finds.

And researchers say males and overweight survivors are particularly at risk.

"Our study found that male thyroid cancer survivors have an almost 50 percent higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than women, while thyroid cancer survivors with obesity have a 41 percent higher risk," said co-author Mia Hashibe, a researcher at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City.

In addition, low levels of thyroid stimulating hormone were linked with a 25 percent greater risk of heart disease.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the front of the neck. It produces hormones that control the rate of many functions in the body, including how fast you burn calories or how fast your heart beats.

For the study, Hashibe's team used the Utah Population Database to collect medical data on nearly 4,000 thyroid cancer survivors over 15 years.

The researchers looked at risk factors, treatment effects and heart disease outcomes.

They found that sex, weight and thyroid-stimulating hormone therapy were associated with higher risk for heart disease within five years after cancer was diagnosed.

Thyroid cancer is the fastest-growing cancer in the United States for both men and women, with more than 62,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

Thyroid cancer is often diagnosed in young adults and has a five-year survival rate of 98 percent.

The report was published May 29 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

"Our findings suggest that thyroid cancer survivors should be continuously monitored and screened for cardiovascular disease for both earlier detection and better preventative care," Hashibe said in a journal news release.

More information

For more about thyroid cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, May 29, 2018

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