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Colorectal cancer and cardiovascular diseases: Are we closing the gap between knowledge and action?

Published:March 26, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2021.03.021
      Colorectal cancer (CRC) and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are amongst the two leading causes of death in western countries and have dramatic impact on the financial sustainability of the health systems [
      • Benjamin EJ
      • Virani SS
      • Callaway CW
      • et al.
      Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics-2018 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association.
      , ]. Both diseases share several modifiable risk factors, genetic features and biological pathways. In the last decade emerging data suggest that this link is particularly relevant in patients with CRC [
      • Koene RJ
      • Prizment AE
      • Blaes A
      • Konety SH.
      Shared risk factors in cardiovascular disease and cancer.
      ]: i) obesity, an inflammatory syndrome, increases the risk and predict prognosis of CRC patients ii) patients diagnosed with CVD have a higher prevalence of colorectal neoplasms compared to patients without CVD, iii) in asymptomatic patients, colorectal adenoma has been associated with coronary artery calcification and stenosis severity, iv) diabetes mellitus, alcohol, tobacco and obesity increase the risk of long term CVD in patients previously exposed to systemic cancer therapy, v) large clinical studies investigating non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to reduce incidence and mortality in cancer.
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