[Comorbility between anxiety and depression in patients with carcinoid tumors]

Riv Psichiatr. 2013 Jul-Aug;48(4):301-6. doi: 10.1708/1319.14626.
[Article in Italian]


Background: People who have malignant cancer are plagued with a variety of symptoms that often severely limit their lives. In the case of carcinoid tumors, symptoms of anxiety and depression are two manifestations often associated with disturbances produced by the tumor itself and the chemicals that the tumor secretes. The aim of this study was to compare the incidence of these symptoms for gastro-entero-pancreatic (GEP) tumors and non-gastro-entero-pancreatic (non-GEP).

Methods: Patients with GEP and patients with non-GEP completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). HADS and all of its subscales were analyzed.

Results: Patients with GEP tended to have higher average total scores on the HADS-D than those with non-GEP (p<0.08), and items in which the difference between GEP and non-GEP were statistically significant were anhedonia (p<0.05), a reduced ability to laugh and have fun (p<0.05), and the feeling of hopelessness (p<0.05). No significant differences emerged, however, in HADS-T and HADS-A scores.

Conclusions: On the basis of these findings, patients with GEP are affected more than patients with non-GEP with increased levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms. What is difficult to determine, however, is whether these symptoms are related to hormone overproduction, or whether they are related to tumor-related emotional distress.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Carcinoid Tumor / metabolism
  • Carcinoid Tumor / psychology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Digestive System Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Digestive System Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Inpatients
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Gastrointestinal Hormones