Background There are no epidemiologic data on the relation of depression before colorectal cancer diagnosis to colorectal cancer mortality among women with colorectal cancer, especially those who are postmenopausal. Our aim was to fill this research gap. Methods We analyzed data from a large prospective cohort in the US, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). The study included 2,396 women with incident colorectal cancer, assessed for depressive symptoms and antidepressant use before cancer diagnosis at baseline (screening visit in the WHI study) during 1993–1998. Participants were followed up from cancer diagnosis till 2018. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) between depression (depressive symptoms or antidepressant use) at baseline, and all-cause mortality and colorectal cancer-specific mortality. Results Among women with colorectal cancer, there was no association between baseline depression and all-cause mortality or colorectal cancer-specific mortality after adjusting for age or multiple covariates. Conclusion Among women with colorectal cancer, there was no statistically significant association between depression before colorectal cancer diagnosis and all-cause mortality or colorectal cancer-specific mortality. Further studies are warranted to assess depressive symptoms and antidepressant use, measured at multiple points from baseline to diagnosis, and their interactions with specific types of colorectal cancer treatment on the risk of death from colorectal cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)