Despite clinical guidelines, cardiomyopathy screening rates among adolescents and young adults who survived cancer were low. These findings were published in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship.

Electronic medical records within the Kaiser Permanente Southern California network were interrogated for 3896 patients with pediatric malignancies diagnosed between ages 15 and 39 years during 2000 to 2010. Patients were assessed for cardiomyopathy screenings through 2016.

Most patients (46.35%) received their cancer diagnosis between ages 30 and 39 years, 56.78% were men, and Hodgkin lymphoma was the most common diagnosis (40.92%).

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Out of the total patient population, 479 were eligible for cardiomyopathy screening due to therapeutic exposures that put them at higher risk for cardiovascular complications. Only 5.84% underwent echocardiography or multigated acquisition scan. Cancer survivors who were recommended to undergo cardiomyopathy screening every 2 years (n=302) had a similar rate of screening (5.30%).

The stage of cancer (stage II vs I: adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 5.56; 95% CI, 1.05-29.46; P =.04; stage III/IV vs I: aOR, 6.08; 95% CI, 1.10-33.54; P =.04) and type of cancer (P <.01) were significant cofactors for adhering to cardiomyopathy screening recommendations.

These results were limited by not including data about general sociodemographic characteristics, which may have affected these American patients from having the means to seek preventive medical care.

The study authors concluded that rates of cardiomyopathy screening were low among patients who survived cancer at a young age and had been exposed to chest radiation or anthracyclines during their treatment, indicating a need for improved patient outreach and counselling.


Tanenbaum HC, Wolfson J, Xu L, et al. Adherence to cardiomyopathy screening guidelines among adolescent and young adult cancer survivors exposed to chest radiation and/or anthracyclines. J Cancer Surviv. Published online November 10, 2020. doi:10.1007/s11764-020-00965-w