Background: CT screening for lung cancer has recently been shown to reduce lung cancer mortality, but screening may have adverse mental health effects. We calculated risk ratios for prescription of anti-depressive (AD) or anxiolytic (AX) medication redeemed at Danish pharmacies for participants in The Danish Lung Cancer Screening Trial (DLCST).
Methods: The DLCST was a randomized clinical trial which comprised 4,104 former or present smokers who were randomized from 12 May 2004 to 20 June 2006 to either CT scan of the chest, lung-function test and filling in questionnaires annually for five years in the period 1 April 2006-31 March 2010 (n = 2,052), or to a control group (n = 2,052) receiving similar procedures except CT scan. We used CT scan intervention group versus control group status as exposure. The follow-up period for use of AD or AX was three years. Baseline data on civil status, socioeconomic status, and co-morbidity as well as outcome data on AD and AX were obtained by linkage to national registries.
Results: The intervention and the control groups did not differ by age, gender, civil status, socio-economic position, co-morbidity index or former use of AD or AX. The adjusted risk ratio for at least one recipe of AD or AX in the CT intervention group during follow-up was not increased when adjusting for previous use of AD or AX, HR 1.00, 95 % CI (0.90-1.12). Similar results were seen when excluding subjects using AD or AX in a four-month or two-year period before baseline, when analyzing AD and AX separately, or requiring at least two recipes.
Conclusions: We found no indications that participation in a lung cancer CT-screening program increases the risk of specific adverse mental health outcomes.
Trial registration: Clinical Trials.gov Protocol Registration System (NCT00496977).