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!
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences
17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences