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J Cancer Surviv. 2012 Sep;6(3):305-14. doi: 10.1007/s11764-012-0218-x. Epub 2012 Apr 7.

Circadian rhythms, symptoms, physical functioning, and body mass index in breast cancer survivors.

Author information

  • 1College of Nursing, 985330 NE MED CENTER, Omaha, NE 68198-5330, USA. aberger@unmc.edu

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Research has been limited in circadian activity rhythms and their relationship with health status in early-stage breast cancer survivors. Maintaining strong circadian parameters may reduce symptoms and improve physical functioning and disease-free survival.

METHODS:

This is a descriptive, correlational, secondary analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial collected 1 year after the first chemotherapy treatment; n = 156 cases with 7 days of wrist actigraph data of six circadian activity rhythm parameters; measures of function, fatigue, sleep, and anxiety/depression; and demographic/medical data including body mass index (BMI).

RESULTS:

In the total sample and three BMI categories, acrophase was the only circadian parameter that reached means established in healthy adults. In the total sample, phase-delayed acrophase was associated with higher depression (r = 0.180, p = 0.025) and lower morning energy (r = -0.194, p = 0.016) and trended for higher fatigue (r = 0.153, p = 0.057). Lower morning energy was also associated with a lower circadian quotient (r = 0.158, p = 0.05). As BMI increased, weaker circadian parameters were recorded consistently. When compared with women in normal BMI categories, obese women's amplitude and 24-h autocorrelation coefficient were significantly weaker (p = 0.011-0.015). In obese women, phase-delayed acrophase was correlated with higher fatigue and anxiety and with lower morning energy and physical functioning.

DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:

Amplitude and 24-h autocorrelation parameters were significantly weaker, and phase-delayed acrophase was linked to several more intense symptoms and lower physical functioning in obese women.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS:

Clinicians need to target high-risk women with phase-delayed rhythms, higher symptoms, and lower physical functioning for intervention.

PMID:
22484807
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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