Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of mortality in women, yet many people perceive breast cancer to be the number one threat to women’s health. CVD and breast cancer have several overlapping risk factors, such as obesity and smoking. Additionally, current breast cancer treatments can have a negative impact on cardiovascular health (eg, left ventricular dysfunction, accelerated CVD), and for women with pre-existing CVD, this might influence cancer treatment decisions by both the patient and the provider. Improvements in early detection and treatment of breast cancer have led to an increasing number of breast cancer survivors who are at risk of long-term cardiac complications from cancer treatments. For older women, CVD poses a greater mortality threat than breast cancer itself. This is the first scientific statement from the American Heart Association on CVD and breast cancer. This document will provide a comprehensive overview of the prevalence of these diseases, shared risk factors, the cardiotoxic effects of therapy, and the prevention and treatment of CVD in breast cancer patients.
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