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Social Determinants of Health and Racial Disparities in Cardiac Events in Breast Cancer

Nickolas Stabellini, Mantas Dmukauskas, Marcio S. Bittencourt, Jennifer Cullen, Amie J. Barda, Justin X. Moore, Susan Dent, Husam Abdel-Qadir, Aniket A. Kawatkar, Ambarish Pandey, John Shanahan, Jill S. Barnholtz-Sloan, Kristin A. Waite, Alberto J. Montero, and Avirup Guha

Background: Racial disparities have been reported for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes. The determinants of racial disparities in CVD outcomes are not yet fully understood. We aimed to examine the impact of individual and neighborhood-level social determinants of health (SDOH) on the racial disparities in major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE; consisting of heart failure, acute coronary syndrome, atrial fibrillation, and ischemic stroke) among female patients with breast cancer. Methods: This 10-year longitudinal retrospective study was based on a cancer informatics platform with electronic medical record supplementation. We included women aged ≥18 years diagnosed with breast cancer. SDOH were obtained from LexisNexis, and consisted of the domains of social and community context, neighborhood and built environment, education access and quality, and economic stability. Race-agnostic (overall data with race as a feature) and race-specific machine learning models were developed to account for and rank the SDOH impact in 2-year MACE. Results: We included 4,309 patients (765 non-Hispanic Black [NHB]; 3,321 non-Hispanic white). In the race-agnostic model (C-index, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.78–0.80), the 5 most important adverse SDOH variables were neighborhood median household income (SHapley Additive exPlanations [SHAP] score [SS], 0.07), neighborhood crime index (SS = 0.06), number of transportation properties in the household (SS = 0.05), neighborhood burglary index (SS = 0.04), and neighborhood median home values (SS = 0.03). Race was not significantly associated with MACE when adverse SDOH were included as covariates (adjusted subdistribution hazard ratio, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.91–1.64). NHB patients were more likely to have unfavorable SDOH conditions for 8 of the 10 most important SDOH variables for the MACE prediction. Conclusions: Neighborhood and built environment variables are the most important SDOH predictors for 2-year MACE, and NHB patients were more likely to have unfavorable SDOH conditions. This finding reinforces that race is a social construct.

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Outcomes of COVID-19 in Patients With a History of Cancer and Comorbid Cardiovascular Disease

Sarju Ganatra, Sourbha S. Dani, Robert Redd, Kimberly Rieger-Christ, Rushin Patel, Rohan Parikh, Aarti Asnani, Vigyan Bang, Katherine Shreyder, Simarjeet S. Brar, Amitoj Singh, Dhruv S. Kazi, Avirup Guha, Salim S. Hayek, Ana Barac, Krishna S. Gunturu, Corrine Zarwan, Anne C. Mosenthal, Shakeeb A. Yunus, Amudha Kumar, Jaymin M. Patel, Richard D. Patten, David M. Venesy, Sachin P. Shah, Frederic S. Resnic, Anju Nohria, and Suzanne J. Baron

Background: Cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are independently associated with adverse outcomes in patients with COVID-19. However, outcomes in patients with COVID-19 with both cancer and comorbid CVD are unknown. Methods: This retrospective study included 2,476 patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 at 4 Massachusetts hospitals between March 11 and May 21, 2020. Patients were stratified by a history of either cancer (n=195) or CVD (n=414) and subsequently by the presence of both cancer and CVD (n=82). We compared outcomes between patients with and without cancer and patients with both cancer and CVD compared with patients with either condition alone. The primary endpoint was COVID-19–associated severe disease, defined as a composite of the need for mechanical ventilation, shock, or death. Secondary endpoints included death, shock, need for mechanical ventilation, need for supplemental oxygen, arrhythmia, venous thromboembolism, encephalopathy, abnormal troponin level, and length of stay. Results: Multivariable analysis identified cancer as an independent predictor of COVID-19–associated severe disease among all infected patients. Patients with cancer were more likely to develop COVID-19–associated severe disease than were those without cancer (hazard ratio [HR], 2.02; 95% CI, 1.53–2.68; P<.001). Furthermore, patients with both cancer and CVD had a higher likelihood of COVID-19–associated severe disease compared with those with either cancer (HR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.11–3.10; P=.02) or CVD (HR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.21–2.66; P=.004) alone. Patients died more frequently if they had both cancer and CVD compared with either cancer (35% vs 17%; P=.004) or CVD (35% vs 21%; P=.009) alone. Arrhythmias and encephalopathy were also more frequent in patients with both cancer and CVD compared with those with cancer alone. Conclusions: Patients with a history of both cancer and CVD are at significantly higher risk of experiencing COVID-19–associated adverse outcomes. Aggressive public health measures are needed to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 infection in this vulnerable patient population.