Background: The present study investigates whether the formation of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG), a known oxidative DNA damage relevant to carcinogenicity, can be associated with psychological factors, in order to clarify the possible stress-cancer linkage from a genetic viewpoint.
Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study in which we examined the relationships of the levels of 8-OH-dG in peripheral blood leukocytes to various psychological factors, including the Profile of Mood States (POMS) and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) in 38 non-smoking and non-drinking workers (19 males and 19 females).
Results: The levels of 8-OH-dG in male subjects were negatively correlated with the Tension-Anxiety scores of the POMS. In contrast, the levels of 8-OH-dG in female subjects were positively correlated with the Depression-Rejection scores of the POMS and the CES-D scores, and negatively associated with the Vigor scores of the POMS, respectively. Male subjects who had self-blame coping strategy displayed significantly high levels of 8-OH-dG. Moreover, the worse the subjective closeness to parents in childhood, the higher the levels of 8-OH-dG became in male subjects. The levels of 8-OH-dG increased reliably in subjects who had experienced the loss of a close family member within 3 years, when compared with non-bereaved subjects.
Conclusions: Psychological distress may be associated with cancer risk, although sex difference influences them. Inadequate coping styles, possibly resulting from a poor interpersonal relationship with parents since childhood, and experience of a relatively recent loss of a close family member also appear to influence the pathogenesis of cancer.
Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel