Survivors of childhood cancers more prone to sleep problems
Sleep difficulties are exacerbated in long-term survivors of childhood cancers, which may lead to persistent emotional distress, a new study has found.
The study included 1,933 survivors (median age 35 years; 50.8 percent female) who were asked to complete measures of sleep quality, fatigue and sleepiness. Emotional distress and physical health were assessed 5 years before and after the sleep survey. Researchers also included 380 comparator siblings (median age 33 years; 52.4 percent female) in the analysis.
Poor sleep efficiency was significantly more common among survivors than siblings (30.8 percent vs 24.7 percent; prevalence ratio [PR], 1.26; 95 percent CI, 1.04–1.53), as were excessive daytime sleepiness (18.7 percent and 14.2 percent; PR, 1.31; 1.00–1.71) and the use of supplements to manage sleep (13.5 percent vs 8.3 percent; PR, 1.56; 1.09–2.22).
Unadjusted models further showed that snoring (8.4 percent vs 5.3 percent; PR, 1.64; 1.02–2.65) and medication for managing sleep (10.1 percent vs 6.6 percent; PR, 1.54; 1.03–2.30) were similarly more common among survivors.
High emotional distress after baseline significantly impaired sleep efficiency in survivors, relative to those who reported no distress at both surveys (PR, 1.70; 1.40–2.07). Distress had a similar negative effect on restricted sleep time (PR, 1.35; 1.12–1.62) and fatigue (PR, 2.11; 1.92–2.32).
The same was true for daytime sleepiness (PR, 2.19; 1.71–2.82), snoring (PR, 1.85; 1.08–3.16), and the frequent use of medication (PR, 2.86; 2.00–4.09) and supplements (PR, 1.89; 1.33–2.69) for managing sleep.