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Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Breast Cancer Outcomes: A Pilot Study

Shu-Fen Wung
Joseph T. Hepworth
Danielle Sparenga
Carrie J. Merkle
ONF 2015, 42(5), E330-E338 DOI: 10.1188/15.ONF.E330-E338

Purpose/Objectives: To assess feasibility of using electronic health records for profiling multiple cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in women with breast cancer at diagnosis and five years post-treatment, and to explore relationships among CVD risk factors and breast cancer outcomes.

Design: Retrospective, descriptive.

Setting: A comprehensive cancer center in the southwestern United States.

Sample: 200 women with stage 0–III breast cancer.

Methods: A record review using an instrument to profile multiple CVD risk factors and breast cancer outcomes.

Main Research Variables: CVD risk factors, such as blood pressure (BP) and hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C), and breast cancer outcomes, such as metastasis.

Findings: Most data on CVD risk factors were undocumented. Even BP values to assess hypertension were missing in 35% of women at breast cancer diagnosis. Women with poor outcomes had trends toward higher blood glucose and HbA1C than women with good outcomes.

Conclusions: The study failed to comprehensively capture CVD risk factors in women with breast cancer because of missing data. Glucose control may be associated with breast cancer outcomes.

Implications for Nursing: Better documentation of shared risk factors for CVD and breast cancer is needed. Prospective studies are needed to evaluate shared CVD risk factors and breast cancer outcomes because of missing health record information.

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