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Depression does not expose someone to a greater risk of cancer
Date:10/1/2013

All of the absences from work for depression, certified by doctors, were recorded as well as many questionnaires measuring depressive moods. The results, which will be published in The American Journal of Epidemiology, do not indicate any significant association between a person experiencing the symptoms of depression during their lifetime and their subsequently contracting cancer.

The continuing increase in incidences of cancer in France is a subject that concerns healthcare professionals, patients and their families. Although research has not yet solved all of the enigmas of the way in which cancer works, some have occasionally attributed the advent of cancer to a painful personal history. "Received ideas often become ingrained", explains Cdric Lemogne, a psychiatrist at the Georges Pompidou European Hospital (AP-HP) who works in Professor Consoli's unit (Universit Paris Descartes). He is the principal author of a new study of the links between these two conditions. "Ever since Hippocrates and the beginnings of medicine, the presence of "black bile" which gave rise to the term melancholia or melancholy, has meant that people have associated the condition with the development of malign tumours. Today, there are certain claims in circulation that depression could be a risk factor in cancer". These have been supported by several scientific studies yet, in concrete terms, none of the existing meta-analyses has ever succeeded in confirming or rejecting these hypotheses.

The Inserm researchers explored the links by conducting the most robust epidemiological study. From this point of view, it was important to have data available, from quite a large cohort, that was validated for both the advent of cancer (validated cases of cancer, specific dates of the diagnosis, data for the incidence or otherwise of mortality) and with respect to depression-causing events.

The set of medical data from the 14,203 people who participated since
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Contact: Cédric Lemogne
Cedric.lemogne@egp.aphp.fr
INSERM (Institut national de la sant et de la recherche mdicale)
Source:Eurekalert

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