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Depression at Time of Diagnosis May Worsen Survival in Blood Cancers

Risk for death higher even with depression remission versus never experiencing depression

cancer patient

TUESDAY, July 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Symptoms of depression are common among patients diagnosed with hematological malignancy, and depressive symptoms are associated with shorter survival, according to a study published online July 2 in Psycho-Oncology.

Takaaki Hasegawa, M.D., from Nagoya City University Hospital in Japan, and colleagues evaluated depression symptoms in patients with newly diagnosed malignant lymphoma or multiple myeloma (between September 2010 and March 2016) before starting chemotherapy (T1) and one month later (T2).

Of the 255 patients included in the analysis, 83 had depression (19 participants with new-onset depression, 38 in remission, and 26 with persistent depression). For patients with depression, overall survival was significantly shorter versus those without depression (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.43; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.43 to 4.12; P < 0.001). Compared with patients never having depressive symptoms, aHRs were 1.91 (95 percent CI, 0.77 to 4.75; P = 0.166) for new-onset, 2.98 (95 percent CI, 1.55 to 5.74; P = 0.001) for depression remission, and 2.17 (95 percent CI, 1.01 to 4.68; P = 0.047) for persistent depression.

"Our data suggest that one-third of the patients with hematological malignancy experience depressive symptoms around the time of diagnosis, and those symptoms appear to be associated with shorter survival," the authors write.

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