(HealthDay News) — Among patients treated for Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), long-term excess mortality due to diseases of the circulatory system (DCS) is expected to continue to decline, according to research published online Feb. 25 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In an effort to estimate the treatment-related mortality caused by DCS, Sandra Eloranta, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and colleagues used population-based data for 5,462 patients diagnosed with and treated for HL between 1973 and 2006.

The researchers note that, since the mid-1980s, DCS mortality in HL patients has steadily declined. Patients who were older when diagnosed and men were at higher risk of death due to DCS. After accounting for other causes of death, the number of deaths attributed to HL treatment-related DCS was actually only a small proportion.

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“This study shows how the long-term excess DCS mortality experienced by patients with HL in Sweden, diagnosed and treated in the 1990s and early 2000s, is expected to further decrease compared with that of patients diagnosed in earlier years. A similar, but stronger, trend is also observed for the remaining excess HL mortality,” the authors write. “The improvements in survival are not likely to be explained by changes in disease characteristics (i.e., a more favorable distribution of prognostic factors in recent years).”

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