New research warns that, after completing breast cancer treatment, women aged 45 and over have a heightened risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The researchers' analysis revealed that, when they compared them with women over 45 who never experienced breast cancer, those who had received breast cancer treatment had a much higher likelihood of having metabolic syndrome, diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertriglyceridemia (elevated blood levels of fatty molecules), as well as abdominal obesity. All of these conditions are top risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease. Moreover, these women's risk of cardiovascular, event-related death was increased, matching death rates that experts associate with a breast cancer diagnosis. “Heart-healthy lifestyle modifications can decrease both the risk of recurrent breast cancer and the risk of developing heart disease. Thus women should be evaluated for heart disease risk, as they are being treated for breast cancer, and continue to be followed for increased risk after treatment for breast cancer." Says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of NAMS.