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Does Depression Affect Survival Outcomes in Patients With Multiple Myeloma?

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2019

According to research published in Psycho-Oncology, symptoms of depression in patients with hematologic malignancies may be associated with poorer outcomes. The study evaluated the impact of depression on overall survival in patients with multiple myeloma or malignant lymphoma.

“Our data suggest that one-third of the patients with hematological malignancy experience depressive symptoms around the time of diagnosis, and those symptoms appear to be associated with shorter survival,” noted Takaaki Hasegawa, MD, of Nagoya City University Hospital in Japan, and colleagues.

The study included 255 patients who had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma or malignant lymphoma between September 2010 and March 2016. Participants were evaluated prior to beginning chemotherapy and again 1 month into treatment. Overall, 83 participants had depression—19 developed a recent onset of depression, 26 were experiencing ongoing depression, and 38 were considered in remission of depressive symptoms.

Compared with patients who did not experience depression, overall survival was significantly shorter for those who did (adjusted hazard ratio = 2.43; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.43–4.12; P < .001). “Using the never-depressive symptoms group as a reference group, the adjusted hazard ratios were 1.91 for those with new-onset depression (95% CI = 0.77–4.75; P = .166), 2.17 for those with ongoing symptoms of depression (95% CI = 1.01–4.68; P = .047), and 2.98 for those in remission of depression (95% CI = 1.55–5.74; P = .001).

“We found that patients whose depressive symptoms resolved (remission group) had a greater risk of mortality that participants who had never been depressed,” noted the investigators. “Further research is needed to investigate the factors associated with depressive symptoms around the time of diagnosis.”

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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