Increased risk of stroke and transient ischemic attack in 5-year survivors of hodgkin lymphoma
BackgroundInformation on clinically verified stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) following Hodgkin lymphoma is scarce. We quantified the long-term risk of cerebrovascular disease associated with the use of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma and explored potential pathogenic mechanisms.MethodsWe performed a retrospective cohort study among 2201 five-year survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma treated before age 51 between 1965 and 1995. We compared incidence rates of clinically verified stroke and TIA with those in the general population. We used multivariable Cox regression techniques to study treatment-related factors and other risk factors. All statistical tests were two-sided.ResultsAfter a median follow-up of 17.5 years, 96 patients developed cerebrovascular disease (55 strokes, 31 TIAs, and 10 with both TIA and stroke; median age = 52 years). Most ischemic events were from large-artery atherosclerosis (36%) or cardioembolisms (24%). The standardized incidence ratio for stroke was 2.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.7 to 2.8), and for TIA, it was 3.1 (95% CI = 2.2 to 4.2). The risks remained elevated, compared with those in the general population, after prolonged follow-up. The cumulative incidence of ischemic stroke or TIA 30 years after Hodgkin lymphoma treatment was 7% (95% CI = 5% to 8%). Radiation to the neck and mediastinum was an independent risk factor for ischemic cerebrovascular disease (hazard ratio = 2.5, 95% CI = 1.1 to 5.6 vs without radiotherapy). Treatment with chemotherapy was not associated with an increased risk. Hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and hypercholesterolemia were associated with the occurrence of ischemic cerebrovascular disease, whereas smoking and overweight were not.ConclusionsPatients treated for Hodgkin lymphoma experience a substantially increased risk of stroke and TIA, associated with radiation to the neck and mediastinum. Physicians should consider appropriate risk-reducing strategies. The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press.