The role of cardiovascular comorbidities in ovarian cancer survival

Laura C Palmero, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Objective. One facet of cancer care that often goes ignored is comorbidities, or diseases that exist in concert with cancer. Comorbid conditions may affect survival by influencing treatment decisions and prognosis. The purpose of this secondary data analysis was to identify whether a history of cardiovascular comorbidities among ovarian cancer patients influenced survival time at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. The parent study, Project Peace, has a longitudinal design with an embedded randomized efficacy study which seeks to improve detection of depressive disorders in ovarian, peritoneal, and fallopian tube cancers. Methods. Survival time was calculated for the 249 ovarian cancer patients abstracted by Project Peace staff. Cardiovascular comorbidities were documented as present, based upon information from medical records in addition to self reported comorbidities in a baseline study questionnaire. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were used to compare survival time among patients with a presence or absence of particular cardiovascular comorbidities. Cox Regression proportional models accounted for multivariable factors such as age, staging, family history of cardiovascular comorbidities, and treatment. Results. Among our patient population, there was a statistically significant relationship between shorter survival time and a history of thrombosis, pericardial disease/tamponade, or COPD/pulmonary hypertension. Ovarian cancer patients with a history of thrombosis lived approximately half as long as patients without thrombosis (58.06 months vs. 121.55 months; p=.001). In addition, patients who suffered from pericardial disease/tamponade had poorer survival than those without a history of pericardial disease/tamponade (48 months vs. 80.07 months; p=.002). Ovarian cancer patients with a history of COPD or pulmonary hypertension had a median survival of 60.2 months, while the median survival for patients without these comorbidities was 80.2 months (p=.014). Conclusion. Especially because of its relatively lower survival rate, greater emphasis needs to be placed on the potential influence of cardiovascular comorbid conditions in ovarian cancer.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Palmero, Laura C, "The role of cardiovascular comorbidities in ovarian cancer survival" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1444746.