Association between coronary heart disease and cancers of the breast, prostate, and colon

Alfred I. Neugut, David J. Rosenberg, Habibul Ahsan, Judith S. Jacobson, Nurul Wahid, Michael Hagan, Mirza I. Rahman, Zareen R. Khan, Lisa Chen, Ariel Pablos-Mendez, Steven Shea

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135 Scopus citations


Coronary heart disease (CHD) and cancers of the breast, prostate, and colon are more common in industrialized countries than in the developing world, and to some degree, these conditions appear to share risk factors. To investigate whether there is an association between these cancers and a prior history of CHD, a hospital-based case-control study was conducted at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. The study was based on 252 breast cancer cases, 256 colorectal cancer cases, and 322 benign surgical controls, all of whom underwent biopsy or surgery between January 1989 and December 1992, and on 319 prostate cancer cases and 189 benign prostatic hypertrophy controls diagnosed between January 1984 and December 1986 (prior to widespread use of prostate-specific antigen screening). Medical records were reviewed on each, focusing on the preoperative anesthesia and surgical clearances. No association was found between a history of CHD and breast or colorectal cancer, but an elevated risk was found for prostate cancer (odds ratio, 2.00; 95% confidence interval, 1.18-3.39), using unconditional logistic regression with adjustment for appropriate confounders. No association was found between cigarette smoking and any of the three cancers. Aspirin use was protective for colorectal cancer (odds ratio, 0.35; 95% confidence interval, 0.17-0.73) but had no association with breast or prostate cancer. The study suggests that individuals with CHD are at elevated risk for prostate cancer but not breast or colorectal cancer. Etiological risk factors associated with CHD should be investigated with regard to prostate cancer. Patients with CHD may represent a high-risk group for prostate cancer and potential future targets for prostate cancer screening interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)869-873
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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