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J Clin Oncol. 2007 Sep 1;25(25):3877-83.

Prevalence of joint symptoms in postmenopausal women taking aromatase inhibitors for early-stage breast cancer.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) improve survival in postmenopausal women with hormone-sensitive breast cancer, but can cause joint pain and stiffness. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the prevalence of and identify risk factors for AI-related joint symptoms.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

We performed a cross-sectional survey of consecutive postmenopausal women receiving adjuvant AI therapy for early-stage hormone-sensitive breast cancer at an urban academic breast oncology clinic. Patients completed a 25-item self-administered questionnaire assessing the presence of joint symptoms that started or worsened after initiating AIs. Multivariate regression was used to compare those with AI-related arthralgia with those who did not report symptoms, adjusting for demographic and clinical factors.

RESULTS:

Of 200 patients who completed the survey, 94 (47%) reported having AI-related joint pain and 88 (44%) reported AI-related joint stiffness. In multiple logistic regression analysis, being overweight (body mass index of 25 to 30 kg/m(2)) and prior tamoxifen therapy were inversely associated with AI-related joint symptoms. Patients who received taxane chemotherapy were more than four times more likely than other patients to have AI-related joint pain and stiffness (odds ratio [OR] = 4.08, 95% CI, 1.58 to 10.57 and OR = 4.76; 95% CI, 1.84 to 12.28, respectively).

CONCLUSION:

Our study suggests that AI-related joint symptoms are more prevalent than what has been described previously in clinical trials. The success of AI therapy depends on patients' ability to adhere to treatment recommendations; therefore, additional studies of interventions that may alleviate these symptoms are needed.

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PMID:
17761973
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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