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Breast Cancer Res. 2019 Dec 10;21(1):139. doi: 10.1186/s13058-019-1232-y.

Psychiatric disorders and cardiovascular diseases during the diagnostic workup of potential breast cancer: a population-based cohort study in Skåne, Sweden.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Box 281, SE-171 77, Stockholm, Sweden. qing.shen@ki.se.
2
Epidemiology and Register Centre South, Region Skåne, SE-221 85, Lund, Sweden.
3
Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Laboratory Medicine Lund, Lund University, SE-221 00, Lund, Sweden.
4
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Box 281, SE-171 77, Stockholm, Sweden.
5
Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, SE-701 82, Örebro, Sweden.
6
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.
7
Center of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, IS-101, Reykjavík, Iceland.
8
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Box 281, SE-171 77, Stockholm, Sweden. fang.fang@ki.se.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

An increasing number of women are evaluated for potential breast cancer and may experience mental distress during evaluation. We aim to assess the risks of psychiatric disorders and cardiovascular diseases during the diagnostic workup of potential breast cancer.

METHODS:

All women with a new diagnosis of unspecified lump in breast (N = 15,714), benign tumor or breast cancer in situ (N = 4435), or breast cancer (N = 8512) during 2005-2014 in Skåne, Sweden, were considered as exposed to a breast diagnostic workup. We used multivariable Poisson regression to compare rates of psychiatric disorders and cardiovascular diseases during the 6 weeks before the date of diagnosis of these women with the corresponding rates of women not undergoing such workup. The commonest waiting time for breast cancer patients was 6 weeks during the study period. A within-individual comparison was performed to control for potential unmeasured time-stationary confounders.

RESULTS:

Compared to the reference, we found a higher rate of psychiatric disorders during the 6 weeks before diagnosis of benign tumor or breast cancer in situ (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1 to 1.5) and breast cancer (IRR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2 to 1.6). A higher rate was also noted for cardiovascular diseases (IRR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.6 for benign tumor or breast cancer in situ, and IRR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.8 to 2.0 for breast cancer). The rate increases for breast cancer were greater comparing a diagnostic workup due to symptoms to a workup due to screening. Little rate increase of neither psychiatric disorders nor cardiovascular diseases was noted during the 6 weeks before the diagnosis of unspecified lump in breast. The within-individual comparison largely confirmed these findings.

CONCLUSIONS:

Women with benign and malignant breast tumor had increased rates of psychiatric disorders and cardiovascular diseases during the waiting for a final diagnosis.

KEYWORDS:

Breast cancer; Cardiovascular disease; Diagnostic workup; Psychiatric disorder

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