Breast Cancer Rx and Heart Disease Risk

Aromatase inhibitors' link to heart disease risk studied

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Anyssa Garza, PharmD

(RxWiki News) Researchers have known little about the use of aromatase inhibitors and heart disease risk in breast cancer survivors — until now.

A new study conducted by the Department of Research and Evaluation at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California looked at heart disease risk with the use of aromatase inhibitors and compared the risk to the risk in tamoxifen users. Tamoxifen is another medication commonly prescribed to treat breast cancer.

This study evaluated 13,273 women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. The researchers found no increased risk of death from heart attack or stroke with the use of aromatase inhibitors when compared to tamoxifen users.

However, aromatase inhibitors may increase the risk for other heart events and requires additional research, these researchers noted. These potential heart events include abnormal heart beat, dysfunction of any of the heart valves, pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the heart) and heart failure.

Speak to your doctor about the best breast cancer treatment for you.

This study was published in JAMA Oncology. Novartis and AstraZeneca have provided research funding for Kaiser Permanente on topics not related to the current study. Two other authors have received speaking fees and honoraria from other pharmaceutical companies.

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Review Date: 
April 25, 2016
Last Updated:
April 26, 2016