Women with Breast Cancer Demonstrate Elevated Long-Term Risk for Depression

“Women with breast cancer demonstrate increased risk for depression several years after diagnosis, according to study results.

“Nis P. Suppli, MD, of the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues used Danish national registries to obtain data on nearly 2 million women who had no diagnosis of cancer and no major psychiatric disorder.

“Researchers followed the cohort from 1998 to 2011 and tracked incidence of breast cancer diagnoses. They also monitored for two outcome measures, first hospital contact for depression and redeemed prescriptions for antidepressants.

“Suppli and colleagues identified 44,494 women diagnosed with breast cancer during the study period.

“During the first year after diagnosis, the rate ratio for first hospital contact for depression was 1.7 (95% CI, 1.41-2.05), and the ratio remained significantly elevated after 3 years of diagnosis. The rate ratio for redemption of prescriptions for antidepressants was 3.09 (95% CI, 2.95-3.22), and the ratio remained significantly elevated 8 years after diagnosis.”