As the overlap between heart disease and cancer patients increases as cancer-specific mortality is decreasing and the surviving population is aging, it is necessary to identify cancer patients who are at an increased risk of death from heart disease. The purpose of this study is to identify cancer patients at highest risk of fatal heart disease compared to the general population and other cancer patients at risk of death during the study time period. Here we report that 394,849 of the 7,529,481 cancer patients studied died of heart disease. The heart disease-specific mortality rate is 10.61/10,000-person years, and the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) of fatal heart disease is 2.24 (95% CI: 2.23–2.25). Compared to other cancer patients, patients who are older, male, African American, and unmarried are at a greatest risk of fatal heart disease. For almost all cancer survivors, the risk of fatal heart disease increases with time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2011
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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