Research Article| Volume 162, ISSUE 3, P707-714, September 2021

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Risk of cardiovascular disease among women carrying BRCA mutations after risk-reducing bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: A population-based study


      • Women with BRCA mutations undergoing RRBSO were less likely to be diagnosed with predisposing conditions for CVD.
      • There was also a non-significant trend of lower use of cardioprotective medications among these women.
      • However, there was no reduced hazard of CVD among these women compared to women without mutations undergoing oophorectomy.
      • The hazard of CVD was higher among these women compared to women without mutations and intact ovaries.
      • We expect CVD prevention can be improved by optimizing diagnosis of predisposing conditions and preventive strategies.



      Examine the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) following risk reducing bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (RRBSO) among women with BRCA mutations.


      In this retrospective population-based study in British Columbia, Canada, between 1996 and 2017, we compared the risk of CVD among women with known BRCA mutations who underwent RRBSO before the age of 50 (n = 360) with two groups of age-matched women without known BRCA mutations: 1) women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy (BO) for benign conditions (n = 3600); and, 2) women with intact ovaries who had hysterectomy or salpingectomy (n = 3600). Our primary outcome was CVD (a composite (any of) myocardial infarction, heart failure, and/or cerebrovascular disease). Secondary outcomes included a diagnostic code for predisposing conditions (hypertension, dyslipidemia, and/or diabetes mellitus), and use of cardioprotective medications (statins and/or beta-blockers).


      We report no significant increased risk for CVD between women with BRCA mutations and women who underwent BO (aHR = 1.08, 95%CI: 0.72–1.62), but women with BRCA mutations were less likely to be diagnosed with predisposing conditions (aHR = 0.69, 95%CI: 0.55–0.85). Compared to women without BRCA mutations with intact ovaries who underwent hysterectomy or salpingectomy, women with BRCA mutations had significantly increased risk for CVD (aHR = 1.82, 95%CI: 1.18–2.79) and were less likely to be diagnosed with predisposing conditions (aHR = 0.78, 95%CI: 0.62–0.97) and to fill cardioprotective medications (aHR = 0.88, 95%CI: 0.64–1.22).


      Our results suggest an opportunity for improved prevention of CVD in women with BRCA mutations after prophylactic oophorectomy. Despite the observed lower prevalence of predisposing conditions for CVD and lesser use of cardioprotective medications, this population did not have a lower rate of CVD.


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