The impact of cognitive impairment on survival and medication adherence among older women with breast cancer

Yasser Alatawi, Richard A. Hansen, Chiahung Chou, Jingjing Qian, Vishnu Suppiramaniam, Guanqun Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of preexisting cognitive impairments on survival and medication adherence, and whether chronic medication adherence mediates or moderates the association between cognitive impairments and mortality in patients with breast cancer. Methods: This retrospective cohort study of older female patients diagnosed with breast cancer was conducted using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Medicare Linked Database. We examined the risk of mortality from cancer and non-cancer causes in patients with and without a history of cognitive impairment. In addition, we examined if chronic medication adherence rates differ between these groups of patients and if medication adherence mediates or moderates the association between cognitive impairments and non-cancer mortality. Results: Mortality from cancer-specific (HR 1.13, 95% CI 1.04–1.23) and non-cancer causes (HR 1.16, 95% CI 1.11–1.21) as well as all-cause mortality (HR 1.30, 95% CI 1.23–1.38) was significantly higher in patients with cognitive impairments compared to those without cognitive impairment. Both groups showed low adherence levels to chronic medication before and after the breast cancer diagnosis. Further analysis did not show that medication adherence mediates or moderates the relationship between cognitive impairment and non-cancer mortality (p value > 0.05). Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that older female patients with cognitive impairments and a breast cancer diagnosis have a heightened risk of cancer-specific and non-cancer mortality. Our findings do not indicate that chronic medication adherence plays a role in the association between a history of cognitive impairment and mortality, it is still necessary to further investigate this issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-288
Number of pages12
JournalBreast Cancer
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Brest cancer
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Geriatric
  • Medication adherence
  • Mortality

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