Women who survive breast cancer are at significant risk of depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and other mental health-related outcomes, suggests a study published in PLoS Medicine.
The matched cohort study used routinely collected primary care data to quantify associations between breast cancer history and depression, anxiety and other mental health-related outcomes.
All women with incident breast cancer in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink GOLD primary care database between 1988 and 2018 (n=57,571) were matched 1:4 to women with no prior cancer (n=230,067) based on age, primary care practice and eligibility of the data for linkage to hospital data sources.
Breast cancer survivorship was positively associated with anxiety (aHR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.29-1.36; P<.001 depression ci p sexual dysfunction sleep disorder but not with cognitive>
Positive associations were also found for fatigue (HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.25-1.31; P<.001 pain ci p fatal and nonfatal self-harm but the relationship was not statistically significant for latter.>
HRs for anxiety and depression decreased over time (P-interaction<.001 but increased risks persisted for two and four years respectively after cancer diagnosis. levels of pain sleep disorder years.>
Younger age was associated with higher risk for depression, cognitive dysfunction, pain, opioid analgesics use and sleep disorders (P-interaction<.001 in each case>
Early diagnosis and increased awareness among patients and health care professionals are likely to be important in mitigating the effects of these raised risks, the authors say.