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Psychiatric disorder and its association with gastro-intestinal cancer: a retrospective cohort study with 45,842 patients in Germany

journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-30, 10:08 authored by Hannah Moessinger, Louis Jacob, Lee Smith, Ai Koyanagi, Karel Kostev


Purpose: Psychiatric disorders and cancer are both common, and comorbidity has detrimental impacts on cancer outcomes. Previous studies focus on affective disorders which arise after cancer diagnosis, not on the impact of psychiatric disorders on cancer risk. We investigate the association between psychiatric disorders and subsequent gastro-intestinal cancer in a large cohort in Germany. 

Methods:  Using secondary data (electronic medical records) from a national IQVIA Disease Analyzer database, we evaluated the association between previous psychiatric diagnosis in  44,582 matched patients with and without gastro-intestinal cancer .  Regression analyses were stratified by psychiatric diagnosis, and adjusted by chronic comorbidities and previous psychiatric treatments. 

Results: No association between any previous psychiatric disease and GI cancers was found (OR=0.98 (0.95-1.02 95%CL, p=0.39). Previous psychosomatic disorder and GI - cancer showed a significant negative association (OR: 0.86, 0.81-0.90 95%CL, p<0.0001). No association was found between previous diagnosis with depression or PTSD and GI-cancer. These results remained consistent when including previous psychiatric treatments in the regression analyses. 

Conclusion: Psychiatric disease was not associated with GI cancer risk. Further investigation into the pathways linking psychiatric disease and cancer needs to be conducted, taking into consideration psychiatric treatments administered, to enhance our understanding of the relationship between these two common and devastating diseases. No description supplied



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Publication title

Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology





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  • Accepted version

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  • School of Psychology and Sport Science Outputs