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Br J Cancer. 2011 Jan 4;104(1):193-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605996. Epub 2010 Nov 16.

Tricyclic antidepressants and the incidence of certain cancers: a study using the GPRD.

Author information

1
Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK. mcxajw2@nottingham.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Several studies suggest links between cancer and tricyclic antidepressant use.

METHODS:

A case-control study using the General Practice Research Database examined whether previous tricyclic usage was associated with reduced incidence of brain (with glioma as a sub-category), breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancers. Conditional logistic regression adjusted for age, gender, general practice, depression, smoking, body mass index, alcohol use and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use.

RESULTS:

A total of 31‚ÄČ953 cancers were identified, each matched with up to two controls. We found a statistically significant reduction in tricyclic prescriptions compared with controls in glioma (odds ratio (OR) =0.59, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.42-0.81) and colorectal cancer patients (OR=0.84, CI=0.75-0.94). These effects were dose-dependent (P-values for trend, glioma=0.0005, colorectal=0.001) and time-dependant (P-values for trend glioma=0.0005, colorectal=0.0086). The effects were cancer-type specific, with lung, breast and prostate cancers largely unaffected by antidepressant use.

CONCLUSION:

The biologically plausible, specific and dose- and time-dependant inverse association that we have found suggests that tricyclics may have potential for prevention of both colorectal cancer and glioma.

PMID:
21081933
PMCID:
PMC3039809
DOI:
10.1038/sj.bjc.6605996
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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