Breast cancer survivors: accelerated aging is common, linked to higher mortality

  • Zhu J & al.
  • Breast Cancer Res Treat
  • 4 Feb 2020

  • curated by Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  •  A large Chinese prospective cohort of breast cancer survivors finds that symptoms of accelerated aging, such as poor overall health and poor mental health, are common, and are associated with higher mortality 10-year later.

Why this matters

  • This study suggests the importance of good physical and mental health among breast cancer survivors.

Study design

  • Prospective cohort, the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study, of 4218 female survivors of stages I-III breast cancer.
  • Accelerated aging was assessed by self-rated poorer overall health, energy level, and depression, among others.
  • Primary outcomes were overall mortality, breast-cancer specific mortality or recurrence.
  • Funding: US Department of Defense; NIH.

Key results

  • At 18-month postdiagnosis, 47.0% reported being somewhat to not satisfied with overall health, 72.5% reported reduced energy level, and 25.1% reported moderate to severe depression.
  • The following time-dependent variables of accelerated aging at 18- and 36-months postdiagnosis were associated with increased overall mortality at a median of 10.9 years later (adjusted for tumor stage and other factors):
    • unsatisfied overall health: adjusted HR [aHR], 3.14; 95% CI, 2.43-4.06;
    • low energy level: aHR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.20-1.84; and
    • being very depressed: aHR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.21-2.09.
  • Only low overall health was associated with increased breast cancer-specific mortality or recurrence (aHR, 1.85; 95% CI, 1.30-2.65).

Limitations

  • Observational design.