Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Coverage from Every Angle

Swedish Study Centers on Cardiovascular Disease in Patients With CLL

By: Melissa Steele-Ogus
Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2020

Assistant Professor Karin Larsson, of the Institute of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden, and colleagues investigated the rates of cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) to better understand the potential impacts of these adverse effects. One-third of all patients had a high burden of cardiovascular disease at the time of diagnosis and at the start of treatment, the investigators reported, and cardiovascular disease was a concern after treatment with chemotherapy and chemoimmunotherapy as well. The results of their population-wide study were published in the British Journal of Haematology. 

“We suggest awareness and a thorough cardiovascular evaluation to be performed before initiating treatment with Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitors,” the researchers commented.

The study goals were to discover the prevalence and incidence of cardiovascular disease, particularly hypertension, and atrial fibrillation, at the time of diagnosis, the prevalence at the time of treatment initiation, and the incidence over 5 years following first-line therapy for patients with CLL. Researchers used the Swedish Cancer Registry and the Swedish CLL Register to collect data on patients who had been diagnosed with CLL from 2007 through 2010, excluding patients who had received ibrutinib treatment.

A total of 2,078 patients were included in the study, 675 (32%) of whom had been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease within the past 10 years and 307 (37%) of whom had been diagnosed before beginning treatment. Hypertension was the most prevalent type of cardiovascular disease, noted in 22% of patients at the time of diagnosis and in 21% at the onset of treatment; 9% of patients had atrial fibrillation at the time of diagnosis, and 8% had it at the onset of treatment. Although 521 of the 828 patients starting first-line therapy had no history of cardiovascular disease, 145 of them (28%) were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease within 5 years of beginning treatment.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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