European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 193–201 | Cite as

Myocardial infarction and future risk of cancer in the general population—the Tromsø Study

  • Ludvig B. Rinde
  • Birgit Småbrekke
  • Erin M. Hald
  • Ellen E. Brodin
  • Inger Njølstad
  • Ellisiv B. Mathiesen
  • Maja-Lisa Løchen
  • Tom Wilsgaard
  • Sigrid K. Brækkan
  • Anders Vik
  • John-Bjarne Hansen


The association between myocardial infarction (MI) and future risk of incident cancer is scarcely investigated. Therefore, we aimed to study the risk of cancer after a first time MI in a large cohort recruited from a general population. Participants in a large population-based study without a previous history of MI or cancer (n = 28,763) were included and followed from baseline to date of cancer, death, migration or study end. Crude incidence rates (IRs) and hazard ratios (HRs) for cancer after MI were calculated. During a median follow-up of 15.7 years, 1747 subjects developed incident MI, and of these, 146 suffered from a subsequent cancer. In the multivariable-adjusted model (adjusted for age, sex, BMI, systolic blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, HDL cholesterol, smoking, physical activity and education level), MI patients had 46% (HR 1.46; 95% CI: 1.21–1.77) higher hazard ratio of cancer compared to those without MI. The increased cancer incidence was highest during the first 6 months after the MI, with a 2.2-fold higher HR (2.15; 95% CI: 1.29–3.58) compared with subjects without MI. After a 2-year period without higher incidence rate, MI patients displayed 60% (HR 1.60; 95% CI: 1.27–2.03) higher HR of future cancer more than 3 years after the event. The increased IRs were higher in women than men. Patients with MI had a higher short- and long-term incidence rate of cancer compared to subjects without MI. Our findings suggest that occult cancer and shared risk factors of MI and cancer may partly explain the association.


Myocardial infarction Cancer Epidemiology Risk factors 



The study has used data from the Cancer Registry of Norway. The interpretation and reporting of these data are the sole responsibility of the authors, and no endorsement by the Cancer Registry of Norway is intended nor should be inferred. K.G. Jebsen TREC is supported by an independent grant from the K.G. Jebsen Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10654_2017_231_MOESM1_ESM.docx (20 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ludvig B. Rinde
    • 1
  • Birgit Småbrekke
    • 1
  • Erin M. Hald
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ellen E. Brodin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Inger Njølstad
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ellisiv B. Mathiesen
    • 1
    • 4
  • Maja-Lisa Løchen
    • 3
  • Tom Wilsgaard
    • 3
  • Sigrid K. Brækkan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anders Vik
    • 1
    • 2
  • John-Bjarne Hansen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.K. G. Jebsen - Thrombosis Research and Expertise Center (TREC), Department of Clinical MedicineUiT The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway
  2. 2.Division of Internal MedicineUniversity Hospital of North NorwayTromsøNorway
  3. 3.Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases Research Group, Department of Community MedicineUiT The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway
  4. 4.Brain and Circulation Research Group, Department of Clinical MedicineUiT The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway

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