Diseases can compromise the mental health of not only affected patients but of their closest relatives as well. Partners in particular are at risk because they may feel stressed and may be deprived of emotional, social, and economic support. A few small studies have suggested that partners of cancer patients often develop major psychosocial problems; however, data on partners' risk for severe depression is limited.
Christoffer Johansen MD, PhD, DSc (Med), of the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen, Denmark, led a team that analyzed how frequently male partners of women with breast cancer are hospitalized with affective disorders, which include major depression, bipolar disease, and other serious mood-altering conditions. The researchers reviewed data from 1,162,596 men who were 30 years or older, resided in Denmark, had no history of hospitalization for an affective disorder, and had lived continuously with the same partner for at least five years.
During 13 years of follow–up, breast cancer was diagnosed in the partners of 20,538 men. One hundred eighty of these men were hospitalized with an affective disorder. Men whose partners were diagnosed with breast cancer were 39 percent more likely to be being hospitalized with an affective disorder compared with men whose partners did not have breast cancer. In addition, men whose partners had severe cases of breast cancer were more likely to be hospitalized than men whose partners had less severe cases. Men whose partners experienced a relapse were also more likely to develop an affective disorder than those whose partners remained cancer-free. Men whose partners died after breast cancer had a 3.6-fold increased risk of developing an affective disorder compared with men whose partners survived.
"A diagnosis of breast cancer not only affects the life of the patient but may also seriously affect the partner," said Prof. Johansen. "We suggest that some sort of screening of the partners of cancer patients in general and of those of breast cancer patients in particular for depressive symptoms might be important for preventing this devastating consequence of cancer." Prof. Johansen also advocates for integrating spouses in the clinical treatment of cancer.
Article: "Increased risk for severe depression in male partners of women with breast cancer." Naoki Nakaya, Kumi Saito–Nakaya, Pernille Envold Bidstrup, Susanne Oksbjerg Dalton, Kirsten Frederiksen, Marianne Steding–Jessen, Yosuke Uchitomi, and Christoffer Johansen. Cancer; Published Online: September 27, 2010 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.25534).
Author Contact: To arrange an interview with Professor Johansen, please contact Jytte Dreier of the Department of Communication at The Institute of Cancer Epidemiology on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Life Sciences