Rapid responses are electronic comments to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on bmj.com. A rapid response is first posted online. If you need the URL (web address) of an individual response, simply click on the response headline and copy the URL from the browser window. A proportion of responses will, after editing, be published online and in the print journal as letters, which are indexed in PubMed. Rapid responses are not indexed in PubMed and they are not journal articles. The BMJ reserves the right to remove responses which are being wilfully misrepresented as published articles.
This paper on prevalence of cardiac events in cancer survivor patients is very informative. Better knowledge concerning risk factors and mechanisms underlying radiation-related CVDs will contribute to primary and secondary prevention of long-term treatment complications, in cancer survivors where exposure of the heart to radiation is unavoidable. This can help physicians in keeping in mind the adverse effects of long term cancer therapy.
A lot of factors were considered when collecting the data, but I believe every individual has a very different lifestyle and the risk of cardiac events is also dependent on the individual's dietary habits which is very difficult to collect in a big cohort study like this one. An increased risk of morbidity and mortality is associated with malnutrition in the elderly. The important role of diet in the prevention of disability and premature death in the aged is a well-recognized and accepted means of geriatric care. The American Heart Association has focused on preventative nutrition in elders. They recognize that a Mediterranean-type diet has notable effects on the CVD prognosis and have recommended that populations follow a similar diet.
I believe we can have better understanding of the cardiac events if we knew the kind of lifestyle patient had like his socioeconomic status and his job description, which will help us to understand the level of stress that individual experienced in their daily routine.
1. Aleman, B.M., Moser, E.C., Nuver, J., Suter, T.M., Maraldo, M.V., Specht, L., Vrieling, C. and Darby, S.C., 2014. Cardiovascular disease after cancer therapy. European Journal of Cancer Supplements, 12(1), pp.18-28.
2. Tourlouki, E., Matalas, A.L. and Panagiotakos, D.B., 2009. Dietary habits and cardiovascular disease risk in middle-aged and elderly populations: a review of evidence. Clinical interventions in aging, 4, p.319.