Characteristics of Cancer Survivors and Women With No Cancer History in the Nurses' Health Study: Prevalence of Risk Factors for Cognitive Decline
CitationWu, Samantha. 2015. Characteristics of Cancer Survivors and Women With No Cancer History in the Nurses' Health Study: Prevalence of Risk Factors for Cognitive Decline. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Medical School.
AbstractPurpose: There is increased interest in the impact of cancer and cancer treatment on health in aging. Cognitive function has been a focus of such research, however, inadequate understanding of the underlying risk profile, or prevalence of risk factors for cognitive decline across different groups of cancer survivors or persons without cancer limits interpretation of these studies.
Methods: Utilizing Nurses’ Health Study questionnaires, we compared lifestyle and health characteristics which are considered primary risk factors for cognitive decline among 6,159 breast, 876 colorectal, and 602 uterine cancer survivors and 94,762 women with no cancer history.
Results: Cognitive risk factor profiles were generally similar across groups. However, uterine cancer survivors had greater BMI (40% with BMI≥30 kg/m2 versus 22-24% in other groups), higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes (19% versus 9-11%), and high blood pressure (61% versus 48-52%) compared to other groups, and use of postmenopausal hormone therapy was more common in breast cancer survivors than other groups (38% versus 22-33%).
Conclusions: Breast and colorectal cancer survivors, and women with no cancer history demonstrated similar cognitive risk factor profiles. However, uterine cancer survivors have a unique distribution of risk factors, and careful consideration must be taken in studying cognitive decline in this group.
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