Relationship between depression and pancreatic cancer in the general population

Psychosom Med. Sep-Oct 2003;65(5):884-8. doi: 10.1097/01.psy.0000088588.23348.d5.


Objective: Prior research suggesting a relationship between pancreatic cancer and depression conducted on clinical populations has been subject to recall bias. We reexamined this association using longitudinal population-based data.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study using longitudinal insurance claims data.

Results: Men with mental disorders were more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those without psychiatric claims (odds ratio 2.4, confidence interval 1.15-4.78). Depression more commonly preceded pancreatic cancer than it did other gastrointestinal malignancies (odds ratio 4.6, confidence interval 1.07-19.4) or all other cancers (odds ratio 4.1, confidence interval 1.05-16.0).

Conclusions: Depression and pancreatic cancer are associated in the general population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Iowa / epidemiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • South Dakota / epidemiology
  • Time Factors