Depressive Symptoms, Negative Life Events and Incidence of Lifetime Treatment of Cancer in the Hungarian Population

By Degi, Csaba L.; Balog, Piroska et al. | Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies, March 2010 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Depressive Symptoms, Negative Life Events and Incidence of Lifetime Treatment of Cancer in the Hungarian Population


Degi, Csaba L., Balog, Piroska, Kopp, Maria, Kállay, Éva, Thayer, Julian F., Csikai, Ellen L., Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychotherapies


Abstract

Cancer incidence and mortality rates in Hungary are the highest in the Central-Eastern European region. Our investigative study examined associations of cancer-prone behavioral risk factors, psychosocial variables and demographic characteristics with cancer treatment on a population level. Data were obtained from the Hungarostudy 2002, a cross-sectional, representative survey of the adult Hungarian population (n=12643). Controlling for all other study variables in a binary logistic regression model, results revealed that the odds of having been treated for cancer were almost twice as high among persons with depression and respondents who experienced negative life events than for those who were not depressed and reported no negative life events. These results send a warning signal to the Hungarian health care system regarding the widespread need for education, prevention, psycho-social screening programs and treatment of depression.

Keywords: depression, negative life events, cancer treatment, population study

In Hungary, cancer incidence (772.24 per 100 000) and cancer mortality (263.81 per 100 000) rates are the highest in the Central-Eastern European region and among the highest in international comparative analyses based on epidemiological data (Gárdos, 2002; WHO, 2006). Also, prevalence of clinical depression (score 19 and higher on the Beck Depression Inventory) in the Hungarian population has been increasing since 1988 when it was 7.5%. The prevalence rose to 14.1% in 1995 and 16.5% in 2002 (Balo & Purebl, 2008). While the associations between psychosocial variables and cancer have been relatively thoroughly-studied in general, no research has specifically addressed these relationships within the Hungarian population. The national representative survey (Hungarostudy 2002) provided a valuable resource to allow the examination of the psychosocial aspects of cancer.

Psychosocial variables and their relationship to cancer incidence and progression are discussed in several recent reviews (Balog & Degi, 2005; Bleiker & Ploeg, 1999; Butow et al., 2000; DeBoer, Ryckman, Pruyn, & VandenBorne, 1999; Denollet, 1999; Garssen, 2004; Kállay, Degi, & Vincze, 2007; McKenna, Zevon, MCorn, & Rounds 1999; Petticrew, Fraser, & Regan, 1999). Although evidence is mixed and opinions divided, Garssen (2004) concluded that 70% of the prospective studies reviewed showed an association between psychosocial aspects and cancer outcomes. An even larger number of studies found that these aspects affected cancer progression in particular.

Depression in cancer patients is associated with non-disclosure of cancer diagnosis (Degi, 2009), lower quality of life (Grassi et al., 1996; Koller et al., 1996), high suicide rate (Henriksson, Isometsa, Hietanen, Aro, & Lonnqvist, 1995), poorer adjustment to the disease (Watson, Haviland, Greer, Davidson, & Bliss, 1991), poor adherence to medical treatment (Pirl & Roth, 1999), and less optimism about treatment effectiveness (Cohen, de Moor, & Amato, 2001). Further, depression affects many bodily functions such as endocrine and immune functioning, which persistently activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, affects and compromises immune surveillance of tumors and resistance to cancer progression, increases DNA damage and inhibits apoptosis (Gidron, Russ, Tissarchondou, & Warner, 2006; Irie, Miyata, & Kasai, 2005; Levy, Herberman, Lippman, D'Angelo, & Lee, 1991). In general depression is associated with decreased number and cytotoxicity of T and NK (natural killer) cells which influence cancer progression (Levy et al., 1991). Recently it has been suggested that depression is correlated with cancer-related oxidative DNA damage, as levels of 8-OH-dG (8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine) in depressed cancer patients were higher than in controls (Gidron et al., 2006; Irie et al., 2005).

It is also important to note that the relationship between depression and cancer is associated with cigarette smoking (Knekt et al.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Depressive Symptoms, Negative Life Events and Incidence of Lifetime Treatment of Cancer in the Hungarian Population
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?