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Chronobiol Int. 2002 Jan;19(1):313-23.

Contribution of the rest-activity circadian rhythm to quality of life in cancer patients.

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INSERM EPI 0118 Cancer Chronotherapeutics, Université Paris XI and Chronotherapy Group, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, Hĵpital Paul Brousse, Villejuif, France.


Quality of life (QoL) is estimated from patients scores to items related to everyday life, including rest and activity. The rest-activity rhythm reflects endogenous circadian clock function. The relation between the individual rhythm in activity and QoL was investigated in 200 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Patients wore a wrist actigraph (Ambulatory Monitoring Inc., New York. NY) for 3-5 d before chronotherapy, and completed a QoL questionnaire developed by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (QLQ-C30) plus the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. The rest-activity circadian rhythm was characterized by the mean activity level (m), autocorrelation coefficient at 24h (r24), and the dichotomy index (I < O). a ratio between the amount of activity while in and out of bed. The distribution of the rest-activity cycle parameters and that of QoL scores was independent of sex, age, primary tumor, number of metastatic sites, and prior treatment. Both the 24h rhythm indicators were positively correlated with global QoL score as well as physical, emotional, and social functioning. Negative correlations were found between m, r24, or I < O and fatigue, appetite loss, and nausea. The rest-activity circadian rhythm appeared to be an objective indicator of physical welfare and QoL. This analysis suggests that circadian function may be one of the biological determinants of QoL in cancer patients.

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