Anxiety and depression linked to increased cancer death risk

Authors: Batty, G.B., Russ, T.C., MacBeath, M., Stamatakis, E. & Kivimäki,M.

Source: BMJ 2017;356:j108 (Published 25 January 2017)

The study was carried out by researchers from University College London, Edinburgh University and the University of Sydney. Findings include that depression is linked to higher chance of dying from cancer. ¬†Analysis of English and Scottish data found a link between mental distress and cancer mortality, which remained even after other factors such as smoking were taken into account. The researchers say their findings “could be important in advancing understanding of the role of psychological distress in cancer aetiology (causation) and cancer progression”. They say the results show that psychological distress predicts the chances of death from certain types of cancer, but that this doesn’t mean anxiety or depression are direct causes of cancer.

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