We modeled the clinical course of a cohort of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients with no prior cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) using a multistate modeling framework.
Patients and methods
Data on 2600 patients with DLBCL diagnosed between 2000 and 2018 and had received chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy were obtained from a population-wide electronic health database of Hong Kong. We used the Markov illness-death model to quantify the impact of doxorubicin and various risk factors (therapeutic exposure, demographic, comorbidities, cardiovascular risk factors, and lifestyle factors which included smoking) on the clinical course of DLBCL (transitions into incident CVD, lymphoma death, and other causes of death).
A total of 613 (23.6%) and 230 (8.8%) of 2600 subjects died of lymphoma and developed incident CVD, respectively. Median follow-up was 7.0 years (interquartile range 3.8-10.8 years). Older ages [hazard ratio (HR) for >75 versus ≤60 years 1.88; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25-2.82 and HR for 61-75 versus ≤60 years 1.60; 95% CI 1.12-2.30], hypertension (HR 4.92; 95% CI 2.61-9.26), diabetes (HR 1.43; 95% CI 1.09-1.87), and baseline use of aspirin (HR 5.30; 95% CI 3.93-7.16) were associated with an increased risk of incident CVD. In a subgroup of anticipated higher-risk patients (aged 61-75 years, smoked, had diabetes, and received doxorubicin), we found that they remained on average 7.9 (95% CI 7.2-8.8) years in the DLBCL state and 0.1 (95% CI 0.0-0.4) years in the CVD state, if they could be followed up for 10 years. The brief time in the CVD state is consistent with the high chance of death in patients who developed CVD. Other causes of death have overtaken DLBCL-related death after about 5 years.
In this Asian population-based cohort, we found that incident CVDs can occur soon after DLBCL treatment and continued to occur throughout survivorship. Clinicians are advised to balance the risks and benefits of treatment choices to minimize the risk of CVD.