Chronic Diseases

By Marvin Stein; Andrew Baum | Go to book overview
Save to active project

A Hypothesis to Reconcile Conflicting Conclusions in Studies Relating Depressed Mood to Later Cancer*

Bernard H. Fox

Boston University School of Medicine

In 1981 there appeared a paper reporting that among 2,020 male Western Electric Company employees, those whose MMPI Depression scale scores were highest among all of the MMPI clinical scales (to be designated high-d in this chapter) were 2.3 times as likely to die of cancer (that is, relative odds, or RO, = 2.3) during the 17 years following the MMPI administration as those whose high point was not the depression scale score (non-high-d; Shekelle et al., 1981). Since 1981, many references to that study have appeared, almost all citing it as evidence that high-d (i.e., depressed mood) predicts later excess of cancer mortality, and in many references, excess cancer incidence. In 1987, a 20-year follow-up by Persky, Kempthorne-Rawson, and Shekelle of the same cohort confirmed the existence of excess mortality, but time analysis by four 5-year intervals showed successive ROs of 2.6, 2.5, 2.1, and 1.6. A similar analysis of cancer incidence yielded successive ROs of 1.9, 2.0, 1.1, and 1.3.

In 1988 and 1989, four further studies appeared. In the first, Kaplan and Reynolds ( 1988) showed no relationship between scores on the Human Population Laboratory (HPL) depression scale and later cancer mortality over a period of 17 years ( 1965-1982) among either sex in a population sample of 6,848 men and women. When they restricted their investigation to men of the same ages and occupational levels as those of Shekelle et al. ( 1981), they also found no excess mortality. In the second study, Hahn and Petitti ( 1988) showed no relationship between scores on the MMPI depression scale and later breast cancer over a

The central thesis of this chapter was first presented at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, held at Key West, Florida, in 1990. Although a number of publications relevant to the topic have appeared since then, they do not change either the central thesis or the conclusions.


Notes for this page

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
Cite this page

Cited page

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

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Chronic Diseases
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

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
/ 344

matching results for page

Cited passage

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?