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Precancer and cancer-associated depression and anxiety among older adults with blood cancers in the United States


Precancer and cancer-associated depression and anxiety among older adults with blood cancers in the United States



Blood Advances 6(4): 1126-1136



PMID: 34872105

For patients with blood cancers, comorbid mental health disorders at diagnosis likely affect the entire disease trajectory, as they can interfere with disease information processing, lead to poor coping, and even cause delays in care. We aimed to characterize the prevalence of depression and anxiety in patients with blood cancers. Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database, we identified patients ≥67 years old diagnosed with lymphoma, myeloma, leukemia, or myelodysplastic syndromes between 2000 and 2015. We determined the prevalence of precancer depression and anxiety and cancer-associated (CA) depression and anxiety using claims data. We identified factors associated with CA-depression and CA-anxiety in multivariate analyses. Among 75 691 patients, 18.6% had at least 1 diagnosis of depression or anxiety. Of the total cohort, 13.7% had precancer depression and/or precancer anxiety, while 4.9% had CA-depression or CA-anxiety. Compared with patients without precancer anxiety, those with precancer anxiety were more likely to have subsequent claims for CA-depression (odds ratio [OR] 2.98; 95% CI 2.61-3.41). Other factors associated with a higher risk of CA- depression included female sex, nonmarried status, higher comorbidity, and myeloma diagnosis. Patients with precancer depression were significantly more likely to have subsequent claims for CA-anxiety compared with patients without precancer depression (OR 3.01; 95% CI 2.63-3.44). Female sex and myeloma diagnosis were also associated with CA-anxiety. In this large cohort of older patients with newly diagnosed blood cancers, almost 1 in 5 suffered from depression or anxiety, highlighting a critical need for systematic mental health screening and management for this population.

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Accession: 079488093

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