Depression is common and linked with early death in patients with blood cancers
In a Psycho-Oncology study of patients newly diagnosed with lymphoma or multiple myeloma, one-third of participants reported depressive symptoms around the time of diagnosis, and depressive symptoms were linked with shorter survival. Shorter survival was observed in both patients who remained depressed and patients who recovered from depressive symptoms.
The study included 255 patients, of whom 83 had depression. Over a median follow-up of approximately 3.5 years, 61 patients died. These included 30 patients in the "never depression" group, 6 patients in the "new-onset" group, 16 patients in the "remission" group, and 9 patients in the "persistent" group. These groups were based on depressive symptoms assessed before starting cancer treatment and one month later.
The risk of death was 3-times and 2-times higher in the "remission" and "persistent" groups, respectively, than in the "never depression" group; however, risk of death was not significantly greater in the "new-onset" group compared with the "never depression" group.