Childhood cancer survivors are more likely to suffer heart problems in later life because of radiotherapy treatment, according to a new study.

Radiotherapy appeared to increase the risk of developing heart disease at a much younger age than the rest of the population, according to researchers from Emory University in Atlanta.

The study looked at 8,599 cancer survivors and 2,936 of their siblings, with whom they would share some genetic risk factors, and was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

It found cancer sufferers were 70% more likely to have diabetes and 60% more likely to develop high cholesterol.