Self-reported memory problems in adult-onset cancer survivors: Effects of cardiovascular disease and insomnia

Pascal Jean-Pierre, Michael A. Grandner, Sheila N. Garland, Elizabeth Henry, Girardin Jean-Louis, Thomas G. Burish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Cancer and its treatments can deleteriously affect memory. Cardiac function and insomnia can exacerbate memory problems. Objective: To examine the relationships among cardiovascular disease, insomnia, and self-reported memory problems (SRMP) in adult-onset cancer survivors. Methods: We included data from participants (41-64 year-old) of the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a nationally representative probability sample of the civilian, non-institutionalized population of the US. We excluded participants with brain cancer/stroke history since these conditions are expected to cause cognitive problems. Using binary logistic regression, we determined the prevalence of SRMP relative to cardiac problems and insomnia by weighting our results proportionally. We adjusted for predictors of memory problems: age, sex, race, education and general health. Results: The sample included 2289 adults (49% females), 9% with a cancer history. The results pertain only to cancer survivors. Those with insomnia were 16 times as likely to have SRMP. Only insomnia symptoms (OR, 15.74; 95% CI, 1.73-143.30; p < 0.01) significantly predicted SRMP, uniquely explaining 12% of the variance. Insomnia accounted for 18.8% of the association between cardiac issues and SRMP, demonstrating mediation (Sobel p < 0.05). The large CI is a consequence of analyzing a sub-group of a subpopulation. Among participants without a cancer history, cardiovascular disease and insomnia were not associated with SRMP (. p > 0.05). Limitations: We could not determine severity and time-related changes in SRMP. Conclusion: Likelihood of SRMP was higher in cancer survivors with a history of cardiovascular disease and insomnia symptoms. Future studies are needed to delineate the cardiac-insomnia-memory interrelationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-849
Number of pages5
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Cancer and memory problems
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chemobrain
  • Sleep problems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-reported memory problems in adult-onset cancer survivors: Effects of cardiovascular disease and insomnia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this