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The association between myocardial infarction (MI) and future risk of incident cancer is scarcely investigated. Therefore, we aimed to study the risk of cancer after a first time MI in a large cohort recruited from a general population. Participants in a large population-based study without a previous history of MI or cancer (n = 28,763) were included and followed from baseline to date of cancer, death, migration or study end. Crude incidence rates (IRs) and hazard ratios (HRs) for cancer after MI were calculated. During a median follow-up of 15.7 years, 1747 subjects developed incident MI, and of these, 146 suffered from a subsequent cancer. In the multivariable-adjusted model (adjusted for age, sex, BMI, systolic blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, HDL cholesterol, smoking, physical activity and education level), MI patients had 46% (HR 1.46; 95% CI: 1.21–1.77) higher hazard ratio of cancer compared to those without MI. The increased cancer incidence was highest during the first 6 months after the MI, with a 2.2-fold higher HR (2.15; 95% CI: 1.29–3.58) compared with subjects without MI. After a 2-year period without higher incidence rate, MI patients displayed 60% (HR 1.60; 95% CI: 1.27–2.03) higher HR of future cancer more than 3 years after the event. The increased IRs were higher in women than men. Patients with MI had a higher short- and long-term incidence rate of cancer compared to subjects without MI. Our findings suggest that occult cancer and shared risk factors of MI and cancer may partly explain the association.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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