People with CML who undergo stem-cell transplantation (SCT) have a higher risk of heart disease and need to be aware of cardiovascular risk factors, according to a recently-published study (Pophali and colleagues. Exp Hematol 2014;42:83-89).
Researchers looked through the records of 109 people who had undergone SCT for CML or other blood cancers. In the five years after the transplant, 44% of people had high cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity were more common compared to before SCT. The estimated risk of a cardiovascular event (heart attack, stroke) doubled in the five years after SCT, to a 10-year risk of 10%.
Risk factors for heart disease didn’t get any worse 5-10 years after SCT but they did remain higher than before transplantation. The risk of a heart attack or stroke stabilized for women over the longer term, however, these risks remained elevated in men undergoing SCT. These results indicate that people need to keep a close watch on their weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels after SCT.