JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2023 Oct 17;9:e40149. doi: 10.2196/40149.
BACKGROUND: With population aging, the prevalence of both cancer and atrial fibrillation (AF) have increased. However, there is scarce epidemiological data concerning the comorbid state of cancer and AF in low- and middle-income countries, including China.
OBJECTIVE: We aimed to evaluate the site-, sex-, and age-specific profiles of cancer and AF comorbidities in Chinese populations.
METHODS: Data from the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission database between 2015 and 2020 were screened, covering all medical records of Shanghai residents with medical insurance. Site-specific cancer profiles were evaluated for the population with AF relative to the age- and sex-adjusted population of residents without AF. The sex distribution and peak age of cancer diagnosis were also assessed.
RESULTS: A total of 25,964,447 adult patients were screened. Among them, 22,185 patients presented cancers comorbid with AF (median 77, IQR 67-82 years of age; men: n=13,631, 61.44%), while 839,864 presented cancers without AF (median 67, IQR 57-72 years of age; men: n=419,020, 49.89%), thus yielding a higher cancer prevalence among residents with AF (8.27%) than among those without AF (6.05%; P<.001). In the population with AF, the most prevalent cancer type was lung cancer, followed by colorectal, male genital organ, stomach, breast, liver, bladder, thyroid, leukemia, and esophageal cancers. AF was associated with an average of nearly 1.4-fold (prevalence ratio [PR] 1.37, 95% CI 1.35-1.38) increased prevalence of cancer after adjusting for age and sex. For site-specific analyses, an increased prevalence of cancer in the population with AF was observed in 20 of 21 cancer sites. This increased prevalence was most prominent for nonsolid tumors, including multiple myeloma (PR 2.56, 95% CI 2.28-2.87), leukemia (PR 1.73, 95% CI 1.57-1.90), and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (PR 1.59, 95% CI 1.43-1.77); intrathoracic malignancies, including mediastinum (PR 2.34, 95% CI 1.89-2.90), lung (PR 1.64, 95% CI 1.59-1.69), and esophageal cancers (PR 1.41, 95% CI 1.28-1.56); bone and soft tissue neoplasms (PR 1.56, 95% CI 1.37-1.77); and kidney cancer (PR 1.53, 95% CI 1.36-1.72). Cancer prevalence in the population with AF relative to that in the population without AF was higher in men than in women in 14 of 18 cancer sites, and female predominance was only observed for thyroid cancer. The peak age of index cancer diagnosis was lower in the population with AF (age group: 70-74 years) than in that without AF (age group: 75-79 years), especially for specific cancer types, including thyroid, central nervous system, mediastinum, esophageal, bladder, and biliary cancers.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with AF are associated with increased prevalence, heightened male predominance, and younger peak age of cancer. Further studies are needed to determine whether early screening of specific cancers is cost-effective and beneficial for patients with AF.