Depression, Anxiety Do Not Increase Overall Risk for Cancer

However, some increased risk seen for lung cancer and smoking-related cancers
Unhappy depressed man visiting a psychologist depression, anxiety
Unhappy depressed man visiting a psychologist depression, anxietyAdobe Stock

MONDAY, Aug. 7, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Depression and anxiety are not related to an increased risk for most cancers, according to a study published online Aug. 7 in Cancer.

Lonneke A. van Tuijl, Ph.D., from the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, and colleagues used data from the Psychosocial Factors and Cancer Incidence consortium (18 cohorts; 319,613 individuals) to examine the association between depression and anxiety with cancer risk.

The researchers observed no associations between depression or anxiety and overall or for breast, prostate, colorectal, and alcohol-related cancers. However, associations were seen for depression and anxiety (symptoms and diagnoses) with the incidence of lung cancer and smoking-related cancers (hazard ratios, 1.06 to 1.60), although these associations were substantially reduced when additionally adjusting for known risk factors, including smoking, alcohol use, and body mass index (hazard ratios, 1.04 to 1.23).

"Our results may come as a relief to many patients with cancer who believe their diagnosis is attributed to previous anxiety or depression," van Tuijl said in a statement. "However, further research is needed to understand exactly how depression, anxiety, health behaviors, and lung cancer are related."

Abstract/Full Text

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