First-line treatment in postmenopausal women with estrogen- and/or progesterone-positive breast cancer consists of aromatase inhibitors (AROi). The ability of AROi to promote or worsen cognitive function, depressive symptoms, sleep quality and performance in basic activities of daily life as primary and concomitant outcomes in long longitudinal studies in post-menopausal women has been seldom investigated. This study is a cohort trial which aimed to determine if there were differences in cognitive function assessment, depressive symptoms, and sleep quality after 1 year under AROi treatment and to determine the interrelations between these symptoms.
A prospective 1-year longitudinal study was performed in a representative sample of tertiary hospital. Women with localized breast cancer newly treated with AROi therapy were evaluated for cognitive functions, depressive symptoms, sleep problems and ability to perform basic activities of the daily life at baseline and after 6 months and 12 months under adjuvant AROi treatment.
Analysis of cognitive functions by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores did not show significantly worsening under AROi treatment after 6 months and 12 months of treatment compared to the baseline. Analysis of depressive symptoms with the Geriatric Depression Scale and sleep quality with the Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS) scores showed significant (p < 0.05) changes after 6 and 12 months of treatment with AROi, with women describing more depressive symptoms and more sleep disturbances.
Our study found impairments in sleep quality and an increase in depressive symptoms, which has important implications for clinicians as they impair quality of life and adherence to treatment.

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