Having Comorbid Cardiovascular Disease at Time of Cancer Diagnosis: Already One Step Behind When It Comes to HRQoL?


The relation between cardiovascular disease (CVD) present at the time of cancer diagnosis and Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) assessed years after cancer diagnosis has – to our knowledge – not been studied. The objective is, therefore, to examine the relation between co-morbid CVD at cancer diagnosis and HRQoL among cancer survivors diagnosed with colorectal, thyroid, prostate, endometrium, ovarian cancer, melanoma, (non-)Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), or multiple myeloma (MM) in an exploratory population-based cross-sectional study.

Material and methods:

Analyses were performed on combined data sets from the PROFILES and Netherlands Cancer Registry (NCR). Data on co-morbid CVD at cancer diagnosis was extracted from the NCR. HRQoL was measured via PROFILES at a median of 4.6 years after cancer diagnosis. General Linear Model Analyses were run for the total group of cancer survivors and for each malignancy.


In total, 5930 cancer survivors (2281 colorectal, 280 thyroid, 1054 prostate, 177 endometrium, 389 ovarian cancer, 212 melanoma, 874 non-Hodgkin and 194 Hodgkin lymphoma, 242 CLL, and 227 MM survivors) were included. For the total group, survivors who had a CVD at cancer diagnosis (n = 1441, 23.4%) reported statistically significant and clinically important lower scores on global QoL and physical functioning and higher scores for dyspnea (p < .05) compared to those without CVD. Co-morbid CVD at cancer diagnosis was negatively related to global QoL, the five functional scales and the symptoms fatigue and dyspnea across most malignancies (i.e., colorectal, and prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, ovarium cancer, melanoma, and CLL). No significant relations were found among thyroid and endometrium cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma and MM survivors, likely due to small numbers.


In conclusion, co-morbid CVD at cancer diagnosis was negatively related to HRQoL, especially to global QoL, physical and role functioning, and the symptoms fatigue and dyspnea.