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The association between pre-existing heart failure and cancer incidence: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and cancer are some of the most recognized causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in heart failure (HF) populations. Recent studies have hypothesized that HF might promote the development and progression of cancer. We aim to analyze and discuss the most recent evidence on the relationship between HF and cancer development.

METHODS: From inception to November 2022, we searched PubMed, Web of Science and for relevant articles on patients with HF and a subsequent cancer diagnosis that reported outcomes of overall and site-specific cancer incidence, or mortality.

RESULTS: Of 2401 articles identified in our original search, 13 articles met our criteria. Studies reporting risk rate estimates were summarized qualitatively. Studies reporting hazard ratios (HRs), or relative risks were combined in a meta-analysis and revealed that HF was associated with an increased overall cancer incidence with a HR=1.30 (95% CI: 1.04-1.62) compared with individuals without HF. Subgroup analyses by cancer type revealed increased risk for lung cancer (HR=1.87; 95% CI: 1.28-2.73), gastrointestinal cancer (HR=1.22; 95% CI: 1.03-1.45), hematologic cancer (HR=1.60; 95% CI: 1.23-2.08) and female reproductive cancer (HR=1.67; 95% CI: 1.27-2.21). Mortality from cancer was higher in HF patients compared with non-HF subjects with a HR=2.17 (95% CI: 1.23-3.84).

CONCLUSIONS: Our systematic review and meta-analysis revealed that HF may result in a subsequent increase in cancer incidence as well as in cancer-related mortality. The most common cancer subtypes in HF patients were lung, female reproductive system, and hematologic cancers. Further research is needed to understand this association better and to provide the best cardiological and oncological care.

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