Prevalence of self-reported memory problems in adult cancer survivors: A national cross-sectional study

Pascal Jean-Pierre, Paul C. Winters, Tim A. Ahles, Michael H Antoni, F. Daniel Armstrong, Frank Penedo, Steven E Lipshultz, Tracie L Miller, Kevin Fiscella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Cancer and its treatments can impair cognitive function, especially memory, leading to diminished quality of life. Prevalence studies of cancer treatment-related memory impairment have not been conducted in the adult-onset cancer population. Methods: To determine the prevalence of self-reported memory (SRM) problems in people with and without a history of cancer, we analyzed data from a large, nationally representative sample of the civilian, noninstitutionalized US population. Participants answered the yes-or-no question, "Are you limited in any way because of difficulty remembering or because you experience periods of confusion?" Age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, poverty, and general health were controlled. Results: The sample (N = 9,819) consisted of 4,862 men and 4,957 women age 40 years and older. There were 1,938 blacks, 5,552 whites, 1,998 Hispanics, and 331 participants categorized as other race/multiracial. Of these, 1,305 reported a history of cancer; 8,514 did not. Memory problems were self-reported more often by participants with a history of cancer (14%) than by those without (8%). Having had cancer was independently associated with SRM impairment (adjusted odds ratio, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.08 to 1.83). Other predictors of memory impairment were age, lower education, lower income, and poorer general health (P < .01 for all). Participants with cancer had a 40% greater likelihood of reporting memory problems relative to those without cancer. Conclusion: Cancer history independently predicted SRM impairment. Prevalence of SRM impairment in people with a history of cancer/cancer treatment is substantial and increasing. Health care providers should assess and be ready to treat memory impairment in patients with a history of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-34
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Oncology Practice
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

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Survivors
Cross-Sectional Studies
Neoplasms
Education
Confusion
Second Primary Neoplasms
Health
Poverty
Hispanic Americans
Health Personnel
Cognition
Population
Odds Ratio
Quality of Life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Health Policy

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Prevalence of self-reported memory problems in adult cancer survivors : A national cross-sectional study. / Jean-Pierre, Pascal; Winters, Paul C.; Ahles, Tim A.; Antoni, Michael H; Daniel Armstrong, F.; Penedo, Frank; Lipshultz, Steven E; Miller, Tracie L; Fiscella, Kevin.

In: Journal of Oncology Practice, Vol. 8, No. 1, 01.01.2012, p. 30-34.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jean-Pierre, Pascal ; Winters, Paul C. ; Ahles, Tim A. ; Antoni, Michael H ; Daniel Armstrong, F. ; Penedo, Frank ; Lipshultz, Steven E ; Miller, Tracie L ; Fiscella, Kevin. / Prevalence of self-reported memory problems in adult cancer survivors : A national cross-sectional study. In: Journal of Oncology Practice. 2012 ; Vol. 8, No. 1. pp. 30-34.
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abstract = "Purpose: Cancer and its treatments can impair cognitive function, especially memory, leading to diminished quality of life. Prevalence studies of cancer treatment-related memory impairment have not been conducted in the adult-onset cancer population. Methods: To determine the prevalence of self-reported memory (SRM) problems in people with and without a history of cancer, we analyzed data from a large, nationally representative sample of the civilian, noninstitutionalized US population. Participants answered the yes-or-no question, {"}Are you limited in any way because of difficulty remembering or because you experience periods of confusion?{"} Age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, poverty, and general health were controlled. Results: The sample (N = 9,819) consisted of 4,862 men and 4,957 women age 40 years and older. There were 1,938 blacks, 5,552 whites, 1,998 Hispanics, and 331 participants categorized as other race/multiracial. Of these, 1,305 reported a history of cancer; 8,514 did not. Memory problems were self-reported more often by participants with a history of cancer (14{\%}) than by those without (8{\%}). Having had cancer was independently associated with SRM impairment (adjusted odds ratio, 1.4; 95{\%} CI, 1.08 to 1.83). Other predictors of memory impairment were age, lower education, lower income, and poorer general health (P < .01 for all). Participants with cancer had a 40{\%} greater likelihood of reporting memory problems relative to those without cancer. Conclusion: Cancer history independently predicted SRM impairment. Prevalence of SRM impairment in people with a history of cancer/cancer treatment is substantial and increasing. Health care providers should assess and be ready to treat memory impairment in patients with a history of cancer.",
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