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Ishveen Chopra, Nilanjana Dwibedi, Malcolm D. Mattes, Xi Tan, Patricia Findley and Usha Sambamoorthi

Background: Incident cancer diagnosis may increase the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD)–related hospitalizations, especially in older individuals. Adherence to statins and/or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs)/angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)/β-blockers reduces CAD-related hospitalizations. This study examined the relationship between medication adherence and CAD-related hospitalizations immediately following cancer diagnosis. Patients and Methods: A retrospective observational longitudinal study was conducted using SEER-Medicare data. Elderly Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with preexisting CAD and incident breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer (N=12,096) were observed for 12 months before and after cancer diagnosis. Hospitalizations measured every 120 days were categorized into CAD-related hospitalization, other hospitalization, and no hospitalization. Medication adherence was categorized into 5 mutually exclusive groups: adherent to both statins and ACEIs/ARBs/β-blockers (reference group), not adherent to both statins and ACEIs/ARBs/β-blockers, adherent to either statins or ACEIs/ARBs/β-blockers, use of one medication class and adherent to that class, and use of one medication class and not adherent to that class. The relationship between medication adherence and hospitalization was analyzed using repeated measures multinomial logistic regressions. Inverse probability treatment weights were used to control for observed group differences among medication adherence categories. Results: Adherence to both statins and ACEIs/ARBs/β-blockers was estimated at 31.2% during the 120-day period immediately following cancer diagnosis; 13.7% were not adherent to both medication classes during the same period, and 27.4% had CAD-related hospitalizations immediately after cancer diagnosis, which declined to 10.6% during the last 4 months of the postdiagnosis period. In the adjusted analyses, those not adherent to both statins and ACEIs/ARBs/β-blockers were more likely to have CAD-related hospitalization compared with those adherent to both medication classes (adjusted odds ratio, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.72–1.92; P<.0001). Conclusions: Given the complexity of interaction between CAD and cancer, it is important to routinely monitor medication adherence in general clinical practice and to provide linkages to support services that can increase medication adherence.

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Ishveen Chopra, Malcolm D. Mattes, Patricia Findley, Xi Tan, Nilanjana Dwibedi and Usha Sambamoorthi

Background: Healthcare spending for coronary artery disease (CAD)–related services is higher than for other chronic conditions. Diagnosis of incident cancer may impede management of CAD, thereby increasing the risk of CAD-related complications and associated healthcare expenditures. This study examined the relationship between incident cancer and CAD-related expenditures among elderly Medicare beneficiaries. Patients and Methods: A retrospective longitudinal study was conducted using the SEER-Medicare linked registries and a 5% noncancer random sample of Medicare beneficiaries. Elderly fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries with preexisting CAD and with incident breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer (N=12,095) or no cancer (N=34,237) were included. CAD-related healthcare expenditures comprised Medicare payments for inpatient, home healthcare, and outpatient services. Expenditures were measured every 120 days during the 1-year preindex and 1-year postindex periods. Adjusted relationship between incident cancer and expenditures was analyzed using the generalized linear mixed models. Results: Overall, CAD-related mean healthcare expenditures in the preindex period accounted for approximately 32.6% to 39.5% of total expenditures among women and 41.5% to 46.8% among men. All incident cancer groups had significantly higher CAD-related expenditures compared with noncancer groups (P<.0001). Men and women with colorectal cancer (CRC) had 166% and 153% higher expenditures, respectively, compared with their noncancer counterparts. Furthermore, men and women with CRC had 57% and 55% higher expenditures compared with those with prostate or breast cancer, respectively. Conclusions: CAD-related expenditures were higher for elderly Medicare beneficiaries with incident cancer, specifically for those with CRC. This warrants the need for effective programs and policies to reduce CAD-related expenditures. Close monitoring of patients with a cancer diagnosis and preexisting CAD may prevent CAD-related events and expenditures.