HealthDay News — Longitudinal changes in depression are associated with differences in mortality among patients with lung cancer, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Donald R. Sullivan, from the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and colleagues conducted a prospective, observational study from five U.S. geographically defined regions. They examined longitudinal changes in depression using the eight-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale, which was administered at diagnosis and 12-month follow-up, and the impact of these changes on survival.

The researchers found that 38% of the 1790 participants had depression symptoms at baseline, and during treatment an additional 14% developed new-onset depression symptoms. Based on longitudinal changes in depression symptoms from baseline to follow-up, participants were classified into four groups: never depression, new-onset depression, depression symptom remission, and persistent depression. Compared with the never-depression group, the hazard ratios were 1.50 (95% CI, 1.12 to 2.01), 1.02 (95% CI, 0.79 to 1.31), and 1.42 (95% CI, 1.15 to 1.75) for new-onset depression symptoms, depression symptom remission, and persistent depression symptoms, respectively. Depression symptoms at baseline correlated with increased mortality among participants with early- but not late-stage disease.

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“Among patients with lung cancer, longitudinal changes in depression symptoms are associated with differences in mortality, particularly among patients with early-stage disease,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Novartis, and a second disclosed ties to UpToDate.

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Sullivan DR, Forsberg CW, Ganzini L, et al. Longitudinal changes in depression symptoms and survival among patients with lung cancer: a national cohort assessmentJ Clin Oncol. 2016 Oct 3. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2016.66.8459. [Epub ahead of print.]