Thyroid cancer survivors diagnosed prior to age 40 have an increased risk of developing diseases associated with aging such as heart disease, hypertension, and osteoporosis, according to a study being presented at the 2017 Cancer Survivorship Symposium.1

To evaluate whether younger thyroid cancer survivors diagnosed before age 40 have a greater risk of late effects than older age groups for diseases associated with aging, researchers analyzed data from 3706 patients in Utah diagnosed with thyroid cancer against 15,587 matched controls.

Survivors of thyroid cancer diagnosed before the age of 40 had a 5-fold higher risk of developing peri-, endo-, or myocarditis (hazard ratio [HR], 5.12; 95% CI, 1.04-25.14), and were twice as likely to develop heart valve disorders as individuals without cancer (HR, 2.43; 95% CI, 1.36-4.33).

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Younger cancer survivors had a 54% higher risk for developing hypertension (HR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.18-2.01) and were more than 7 times as likely to develop osteoporosis than matched controls.

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Survivors diagnosed between ages 40 and 65 had a 46% increased risk of hypertension and 2 times higher risk of developing osteoporosis 1 to 5 years after cancer diagnosis than the control group (HR, 2.55; 95% CI, 2.07-3.13).

The investigators hypothesized that these results are a consequence of younger patients undergoing more aggressive therapies.


  1. Blackburn B, Ganz PA, Rowe KG, et al. Late effects among young thyroid cancer survivors. J Clin Oncol. 2017;35(suppl):5S. Abstract 111.