Men seem to suffer more from chemotherapy induced cardiomyopathy

5th June 2017

Men seem to have worse chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy than women despite receiving similar cancer treatments, say researchers.

Their work has been presented at the annual cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR)conference of the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging

Cancer patients are living longer because of improved treatment but the side effects of treatment include dilated cardiomyopathy,said the lead author Dr Iwan Harries, currently pursuing a PhD on CMR imaging and cardio-oncology at the University of Bristol.

Previous studies have suggested that being a woman is a risk factor for developing heart toxicity from chemotherapy but Dr Harries said this data largely originated from child studies and, in contrast, animal studies report male susceptibility to cardiomyopathy."

The study included 76 patients (45 women and 31 men) over six years. They were referred for CMR, and were found to have impaired heart function(chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy).

They were excluded if they had another condition that could have contributed to the cardiomyopathy such as coronary heart disease, heart valve disease, a family history of cardiomyopathy, or had been drinking excessively.

The researchers found that heart function was significantly lower in men than women, indicating worse performance of the heart and more damage to the heart’s structure..

Dr Harries said: "The results of our study suggest that men developed a more severe form of chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy than women at follow-up of 8.75 years.”

He added "Ours is a preliminary result and large scale trials are needed to confirm our finding. If confirmed, the implication of these findings is that cardiologists and oncologists could devise individualised treatment and monitoring strategies for their patients that take gender into account."