Association of Midlife Cardiovascular Health and Subsequent Change in Cardiovascular Health With Incident Cancer

Thomas Van Sloten, Eugénie Valentin, Rachel E Climie, Omar Deraz, Elisabete Weiderpass, Xavier Jouven, Marcel Goldberg, Marie Zins, Jean-Philippe Empana*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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BACKGROUND: The commonality of risk factors between cancer and cardiovascular disease suggests that primordial prevention (preventing the onset of risk factors) is a relevant strategy for cancer prevention.

OBJECTIVES: This study sought to examine the association between baseline and change in the cardiovascular health (CVH) score and incident cancer.

METHODS: Using serial examinations of the GAZEL (GAZ et ELECTRICITE de France) study in France, we examined the associations between the American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7 CVH score (range: 0-to 14 [poor, intermediate, and ideal level of smoking, physical activity, body mass index, diet, blood pressure, diabetes status, or lipids]) in 1989/1990, their change over 7 years, and incident cancer and cardiac events up to 2015.

RESULTS: The study population included 13,933 participants (mean age: 45.3 ± 3.4 years, 24% women). After a median follow-up of 24.8 years (Q1-Q3: 19.4-24.9 years), 2,010 participants had an incident cancer and 899 a cardiac event. The risk of cancer (any site) decreased by 9% (HR: 0.91; 95% CI: 0.88-0.93) per 1-point increase in the CVH score in 1989/1990 compared with a 20% (HR: 0.80; 95% CI: 0.77-0.83) risk reduction for cardiac events. The risk of cancer decreased by 5% (HR: 0.95; 95% CI: 0.92-0.99) per unit of change in the CVH score between 1989/1990 and 1996/1997 compared with a 7% risk reduction for cardiac events (HR: 0.93; 95% CI: 0.88-0.98). These associations remained after omitting the smoking metric from the CVH score.

CONCLUSIONS: Primordial prevention is a relevant strategy for the prevention of cancer in the population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-52
Number of pages14
JournalJ AM Coll Cardiol CardioOnc
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • ideal cardiovascular health
  • cohort
  • cancer
  • prevention


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