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Adherence to cardiovascular disease risk factor medications among patients with cancer: a systematic review.

Zullig LL, Drake C, Shahsahebi M, Avecilla RAV, Whitney C, Mills C, Oeffinger KC. Adherence to cardiovascular disease risk factor medications among patients with cancer: a systematic review. Journal of cancer survivorship : research and practice. 2023 Jun 1; 17(3):595-618.

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PURPOSE: The most common cause of mortality for many cancer survivors is cardiovascular disease (CVD). This requires a shift in thinking where control of CVD risk factor-related comorbidity is paramount. Our objective was to provide an understanding of adherence to medications for the management of CVD risk factor-related comorbidities among cancer survivors. METHODS: We systematically searched for articles indexed in MEDLINE (via PubMed), Embase, Cochrane (Wiley), PsycINFO, and Scopus (via Elsevier) for articles published from inception to October 31, 2019, and updated the search on June 7, 2021. English language, original research that assessed medication adherence to common CVD risk factor-related comorbidities among cancer survivors was included. We assessed risk of bias using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. RESULTS: Of the 21 studies included, 57% focused on multiple cancer types. Seventy-one percent used pharmacy-based adherence measures. Two were prospective. Adherence was variable across cancer types and CVD risk factor-related comorbidities. Among the studies that examined changes in comorbid medication adherence, most noted a decline in adherence following cancer diagnosis and throughout cancer treatment. There was a focus on breast cancer populations. CONCLUSIONS: CVD risk factor-related medication adherence is low among cancer survivors and declines over time. Given the risk for CVD-mortality among cancer survivors, testing of interventions aimed at improving adherence to non-cancer medications is critically needed. IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: For many cancer survivors, regularly taking medications to manage CVD risk is important for longevity. Engaging with primary care throughout the cancer care trajectory may be important to support cardiovascular health.

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