Clin. Otolaryngol. 2012, 37, 369–375
Objectives: To explore the possible association between the risk of coronary artery disease and head or neck cancer based on some possible shared risk factors and/or treatment-related complications.
Design and setting: A population-based retrospective cohort study.
Participants: All new 729 patients with head and neck cancer diagnosed between 2000 and 2003 were followed up till 2009, and the risk of subsequent coronary artery disease was calculated. For each patient, the risk was calculated in 4 age-and sex-matched population controls. Matching was not possible for factors including socio-economic group and smoking.
Main outcome measures: Cox’s proportional hazard regression analysis was conducted to estimate the relationship between head or neck cancer and risk of coronary artery disease.
Results: For patients with head or neck cancer, the overall risk for developing coronary artery disease was almost the same as that of the control group [adjusted hazard ratio (but without control for some lifestyle factors): 0.95; 95% confidence interval: 0.65–1.35]. Overall, we found no increased risk of coronary artery disease for patients with head or neck cancer when the data were categorised either by treatment methods or by cancer subsites.
Conclusions: This population-based study indicated that patients with head or neck cancer were at no higher risk of developing coronary artery disease than was the general population over a 6- to 9-year period; however, we cannot exclude the risk over a longer period of time.