Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Yale University School of Nursing

First Advisor

Jessica S. Coviello


This prospective, descriptive study was designed to explore the baseline cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer prior to receiving treatment with anthracyclines and/or trastuzumab. Women diagnosed with breast cancer are at risk for developing CVD and may experience increased risk factors related to breast cancer diagnoses and treatments. The specific aim was to determine baseline cardiovascular risk through the use of the Framingham General Cardiovascular Risk Assessment Score (FGCVRAS) calculation and heart/vascular age calculation. Subjects included 30 women (mean age 49.97). Mean FGCVRAS was 5.58% (SD 5.68), and mean heart/vascular age was 49.62 years (SD 18.33) with 9 women having heart/vascular ages that exceeded their actual ages. At a cardiovascular risk of approximately 5.3%, vascular age began to exceed actual age. At baseline, only 3 of the 30 women had ever had a cardiovascular risk assessment, 14 women had at least two CVD risk factors, and 6 women met diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome. Multiple regression showed that HDL, glucose, waist circumference, and mean systolic blood pressure most contributed to CVD risk as calculated by the FGCVRAS. At baseline, women diagnosed with breast cancer demonstrate a significant risk burden for CVD that needs to be assessed and addressed prior to beginning potentially cardiotoxic treatments.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access