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Anastrozole Does Not Impair Cognitive Performance

Reassuring news for women using breast cancer chemopreventive drug

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women at high risk for breast cancer given anastrozole as a chemopreventive do not suffer cognitive performance impairment, according to study findings published online Sept. 2 in The Lancet Oncology.

Valerie A. Jenkins, of the University of Sussex in Brighton, United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a study of 227 women who were postmenopausal and at high risk for developing breast cancer. The women completed cognitive tests at baseline and again six and 24 months after randomization to 1 mg/day of anastrozole or placebo for five years. There were 151 women still in the trial at the time of the 24-month assessment.

At the 24-month mark, hot flashes were reported by 30 percent of the women in the anastrozole group and 15 percent of the placebo group, but in terms of cognitive performance the two groups were the same, the researchers report.

"These findings should be reassuring in the short term for postmenopausal women being treated with anastrozole, their clinicians, and carers," the authors write. "At present, cognitive research in this area is restricted by methodological challenges and the absence of standardization in neuropsychological studies. An international task force has been proposed to provide guidelines for future research to address these issues."

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