Risk of Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Strokes in Occult and Manifest Cancers
Background and Purpose—Manifest cancer is associated with increased risk of stroke. The risk of stroke in people with occult cancer in comparison to the risk in the background population without cancer has not been investigated. Smoking is a risk factor for both cancer and stroke, but the role of smoking for the risk of stroke in cancer has not been investigated.
Methods—We identified all incident cases of cancer in Denmark 2003 to 2012 (n=264.376) from the Danish Cancer Registry. Each person with cancer was matched by age, sex, and income with 10 randomly selected persons without cancer at index date (n=2.571.260). Linking data to the Danish Stroke Registry, we studied risk of ischemic/hemorrhagic stroke the year before (occult cancer) and after cancer diagnosis was established in the Danish Stroke Registry (manifest cancer) and stratified into the 15 most common cancer types related (lung, colon, bladder, rectum, pancreas, kidney, stomach, and head and neck cancer) and unrelated (non-Hodgkin lymphoma, breast, prostate, melanoma, central nervous system, ovary and endometrial) to smoking.
Results—Risk of ischemic/hemorrhagic stroke was increased for both occult (relative risk, 1.75/2.00) and manifest cancers (relative risk, 1.30/1.41). For occult cancer, risk of ischemic stroke was increased for all of the smoking-related cancers, but among cancers unrelated to smoking, only lymphoma, central nervous system, and endometrial cancer were associated with increased risk of stroke; breast, prostate, melanoma, and ovarian cancers were not. For occult cancer, risk of hemorrhagic stroke was generally increased for smoking-related cancers while not for cancers unrelated to smoking. For manifest cancer, risk of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke was generally increased for cancers related to smoking while not for cancers unrelated to smoking.
Conclusions—Cancer, occult and manifest, is associated with increased risks for stroke. The increased risk is linked mainly to cancers related to smoking.
- Received March 2, 2018.
- Revision received April 9, 2018.
- Accepted April 30, 2018.
- © 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.