Use of hypnotics among women diagnosed with cervical cancer – A population-based cohort study

Trine Allerslev Horsbøl*, Susanne K. Kjaer, Elisabeth Wreford Andersen, Gunn Ammitzbøll, Lau Caspar Thygesen, Christoffer Johansen, Pernille Tine Jensen, Ligita Paskeviciute Frøding, Henrik Lajer, Susanne Oksbjerg Dalton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Objective: Previous studies suggest that sleeping problems are frequent after cervical cancer. However, the evidence on the use of hypnotics is sparse. We investigated if women diagnosed with cervical cancer have an increased risk of using hypnotics and identified risk factors for prolonged use. Methods: In this nationwide register-based cohort study, 4264 women diagnosed with cervical cancer from 1997 to 2013 and 36,632 cancer-free women were followed in registers until 2016. Prolonged use of hypnotics was defined as more than three prescriptions with no more than three months in between. Data were analysed using Cox proportional hazards regression models and multistate Markov models separately for women with localized and advanced cervical cancer. Results: The rate of first use of hypnotics was substantially increased during the first year after cervical cancer diagnosis compared to cancer-free women (HRlocalized 4.4, 95% CI 3.9–5.1; HRadvanced 8.9, 95% CI 7.5–10.6) and remained markedly increased for up to five years after diagnosis. Dependent on stage of disease and age, 1.4 to 4.7 excess women per 100 with cervical cancer were prolonged users of hypnotics compared to cancer-free women one year after diagnosis. Risk factors for prolonged use of hypnotics were higher age, short education, previous use of antidepressants or anxiolytics, and advanced disease. Conclusions: Women diagnosed with cervical cancer are at increased risk of prolonged use of hypnotics. For the majority, treatment with hypnotics is initiated within the first year after cancer diagnosis, but the rate of first use is increased for up to five years.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)300-307
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Cervical cancer
  • Cohort study
  • Epidemiology
  • Hypnotic use
  • Late effects
  • Sleeping problems
  • Humans
  • Child, Preschool
  • Infant
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis
  • Female
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives/adverse effects
  • Cohort Studies


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