Importance: The association between exposure to hormone-modulating therapy (HMT) as breast cancer treatment and neurodegenerative disease (NDD) is unclear. Objective: To determine whether HMT exposure is associated with the risk of NDD in women with breast cancer. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study used the Humana claims data set from January 1, 2007, to March 31, 2017. The Humana data set contains claims from private-payer and Medicare insurance data sets from across the United States with a population primarily residing in the Southeast. Patient claims records were surveyed for a diagnosis of NDD starting 1 year after breast cancer diagnosis for the duration of enrollment in the claims database. Participants were 57 843 women aged 45 years or older with a diagnosis of breast cancer. Patients were required to be actively enrolled in Humana claims records for 6 months prior to and at least 3 years after the diagnosis of breast cancer. The analyses were conducted between January 1 and 15, 2020. Exposure: Hormone-modulating therapy (selective estrogen receptor modulators, estrogen receptor antagonists, and aromatase inhibitors). Main Outcomes and Measures: Patients receiving HMT for breast cancer treatment were identified. Survival analysis was used to determine the association between HMT exposure and diagnosis of NDD. A propensity score approach was used to minimize measured and unmeasured selection bias. Results: Of the 326 485 women with breast cancer in the Humana data set between 2007 and 2017, 57 843 met the study criteria. Of these, 18 126 (31.3%; mean [SD] age, 76.2 [7.0] years) received HMT, whereas 39 717 (68.7%; mean [SD] age, 76.8 [7.0] years) did not receive HMT. Mean (SD) follow-up was 5.5 (1.8) years. In the propensity score-matched population, exposure to HMT was associated with a decrease in the number of women who received a diagnosis of NDD (2229 of 17 878 [12.5%] vs 2559 of 17 878 [14.3%]; relative risk, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.84-0.93; P < .001), Alzheimer disease (877 of 17 878 [4.9%] vs 1068 of 17 878 [6.0%]; relative risk, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.75-0.90; P < .001), and dementia (1862 of 17 878 [10.4%] vs 2116 of 17 878 [11.8%]; relative risk, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.83-0.93; P < .001). The number needed to treat was 62.51 for all NDDs, 93.61 for Alzheimer disease, and 69.56 for dementia. Conclusions and Relevance: Among patients with breast cancer, tamoxifen and steroidal aromatase inhibitors were associated with a decrease in the number who received a diagnosis of NDD, specifically Alzheimer disease and dementia.
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