Incidence and Risk of Cardiac Events in Patients With Previously Treated Multiple Myeloma Versus Matched Patients Without Multiple Myeloma: An Observational, Retrospective, Cohort Study

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The present study provides a unique look at real world cardiac event rates for a large group of multiple myeloma (MM) patients treated with selected anti-MM treatments. The cardiac event risk for any cardiac event, including hypertensive or arterial events, cardiac dysrhythmias, congestive heart failure, ischemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, and conduction disorders, was greater in MM patients with ≥ 3 previous drugs (n = 1723) compared with patients without MM (n = 8615).


Multiple myeloma (MM) patients have age-, disease-, and treatment-related risk factors for cardiac events.

Materials and Methods:

We analyzed the 2006 to 2011 MarketScan database to determine whether the risk of cardiac events is greater in MM patients than in non-MM patients. Included were 1723 MM patients treated with corticosteroids and ≥ 3 drugs (bortezomib, immunomodulatory derivatives, and alkylating agents or anthracyclines). The index date (ID) was the date on which the 3-drug exposure criterion was met. Also included were 8615 age- and gender-matched non-MM patients (5:1). The distribution of non-MM patients' IDs matched that of the MM patients' IDs. Baseline was 6 months before the ID. The follow-up duration was from the ID to study end (ie, 2011 or end of enrollment or prescription drug coverage). Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were adjusted for baseline variables when the univariate analyses showed a 10% difference.


The median duration of observation was 9 months (range, 0-60 months) for MM patients and 19 months (range, 0-66 months) for non-MM patients. The risk of any cardiac event (HR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.9-2.5), dysrhythmia (HR, 4.1; 95% CI, 3.5-4.8), congestive heart failure (HR, 2.9; 95% CI, 2.2-3.7), cardiomyopathy (HR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.8-3.8), and conduction disorders (HR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.2-2.5) was significantly greater for MM than for non-MM patients. The incidence of hypertensive or arterial events and ischemic heart disease was similar between the 2 groups.


The present study provides the first known comparison of cardiac event risk in patients with MM versus age- and gender-matched patients without MM. The cardiac event risk was greater in MM patients with ≥ 3 previous drugs for any cardiac event, dysrhythmias, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and conduction disorders compared with patients without MM.

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