Depression and Survival in Chinese Patients with Gastric Cancer: A Prospective Study


Aim: Depression is thought to be a predictor of poor survival among cancer patients. In our study, we aimedto investigate the association between depression and survival in patients with gastric cancer.
Methods: Thesubjects were a total of 300 patients aged 20-75 years who had histological confirmed diagnosis of gastric cancerfrom January 2004 to May 2006. Three months after patients diagnosis, depression was scored using by theDepression Status Inventory (DSI) designed by Willian WK Zung. The follow-up period consisted of a total of13,643 person-months. A Cox’s regression analysis was used to assess the association between depression andsurvival.
Results: The percentage of subjects with depression according to the DSI depression criteria was 31%.Tumor stage and treatment methods were significantly associated with depression of patients. Age (60 yearsor older), annual income, tumor stage, lymph nodes metastasis and treatment were significantly associatedwith increased hazard ratio (HR) for gastric cancer survival. The adjusted HR for mortality risk in gastriccancer patients with depression tended to be high (HR=3.34, 95% CI=1.23-5.49) and a significant trend wasfound (P<0.05).
Conclusion: The data obtained in this prospective study in Chinese support the hypothesis thatdepression is associated with poor survival among gastric cancer patients. Further studies with a large sampleand longer term follow-up period are needed.