The association of pre-cancer diagnosis cardiovascular risk factors with memory aging after a cancer diagnosis, overall and by race/ethnicity.

TitleThe association of pre-cancer diagnosis cardiovascular risk factors with memory aging after a cancer diagnosis, overall and by race/ethnicity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsWestrick, AC, Zhu, P, Friese, CR, Langa, KM, Kobayashi, LC
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Experience
ISSN Number1932-2267
KeywordsCancer Survivors, Cardiovascular Risk Factors, cognitive impairment, Memory, Racial Disparities
Abstract

PURPOSE: Cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) are associated with increased risk for cognitive impairment and decline in the general population, but less is known about how CVRFs might influence cognitive aging among older cancer survivors. We aimed to determine how CVRFs prior to a cancer diagnosis affect post-cancer diagnosis memory aging, compared to cancer-free adults, and by race/ethnicity.

METHODS: Incident cancer diagnoses and memory (immediate and delayed recall) were assessed biennially in the US Health and Retirement Study (N = 5,736, 1998-2018). CVRFs measured at the wave prior to a cancer diagnosis included self-reported cigarette smoking, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and stroke. Multivariable-adjusted linear mixed-effects models evaluated the rate of change in standardized memory score (SD/decade) post-cancer diagnosis for those with no, medium, and high CVRFs, compared to matched cancer-free adults, overall and stratified by sex and race/ethnicity.

RESULTS: Higher number of CVRFs was associated with worse baseline memory for both men and women, regardless of cancer status. Cancer survivors with medium CVRFs had slightly slower rates of memory decline over time relative to cancer-free participants (0.04 SD units/decade [95% CI: 0.001, 0.08]). Non-Hispanic Black (NHB) and Hispanic cancer-free participants and cancer survivors had worse baseline memory than their Non-Hispanic White (NHW) counterparts.

CONCLUSIONS: CVRFs were associated with worse baseline memory function, but not decline, for cancer-free adults and cancer survivors. Racial disparities were largely similar between cancer survivors and cancer-free adults.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: These findings may inform hypotheses about pre-diagnosis multimorbidity and cognitive aging of cancer survivors from diverse groups.

DOI10.1007/s11764-024-01593-4
Citation Key13916
PubMed ID38647590
PubMed Central ID3675678
Grant ListK99 AG076532 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States