, Volume 66, Issue 3, pp 634–641 | Cite as

Sleep disorders and cognitive dysfunction in acromegaly

  • A. Wennberg
  • R. Lorusso
  • F. DassieEmail author
  • S. Benavides-Varela
  • M. Parolin
  • E. De Carlo
  • F. Fallo
  • R. Mioni
  • R. Vettor
  • C. Semenza
  • P. Maffei
Original Article



In the general population, sleep disorders are associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment. The prevalence of sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, in acromegalic patients is higher than in the general population, and they may have additional risk of cognitive impairment due to acromegaly treatment and comorbidities. We aim to study the relationship between sleep disturbances and cognitive dysfunction in a group of acromegalic patients.


We studied 67 consecutive acromegalic patients. We performed a neurocognitive assessment and patients completed the Acromegaly Quality of Life Questionnaire (AcroQoL), Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.


Of the 67 acromegaly patients in the study, 38.8% were male and median age at the neurological examination was 56 (IQR 48, 65). Approximately 6–10% of patients had impaired cognitive assessment, depending on the test. In linear regression models adjusted for age, sex, BMI, disease duration, and disease activity, poorer sleep quality was associated with lower global cognitive z-score (B = −0.03, 95% CI −0.06, −0.002). Daytime somnolence was associated with poorer physical AcroQoL sub-score (B = −0.04, 95% CI −0.08, −0.002). Sleep quality was associated with poorer overall AcroQoL (B = −0.03, 95% CI −0.05, −0.006), physical AcroQoL (B = −0.04, 95% CI −0.07, −0.005), psychological AcroQoL (B = −0.02, 95% CI −0.04, −0.001), and social AcroQoL (B = −0.02, 95% CI −0.04, −0.0009).


In acromegaly patients, we found robust evidence that poor sleep quality is associated with poorer quality of life, and some evidence that it is associated with poorer cognitive function.


Growth hormone Acromegaly Sleep Cognition Quality of life 



This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sector. A.W. is supported by the MSCA Seal of Excellence @UniPD.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors do not have any conflicts of interest to report.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Wennberg
    • 1
  • R. Lorusso
    • 2
  • F. Dassie
    • 2
    Email author
  • S. Benavides-Varela
    • 3
    • 4
  • M. Parolin
    • 2
  • E. De Carlo
    • 2
  • F. Fallo
    • 2
  • R. Mioni
    • 2
  • R. Vettor
    • 2
  • C. Semenza
    • 1
    • 5
  • P. Maffei
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeuroscienceUniversity of PaduaPadovaItaly
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of PaduaPadovaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Developmental Psychology and SocialisationUniversity of PaduaPadovaItaly
  4. 4.Department of General PsychologyUniversity of PaduaPadovaItaly
  5. 5.IRCCS Ospedale San CamilloVeneziaItaly

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