Cancer Diagnosis Linked to Higher Immediate Suicide Risk

Also linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular death during the first week and month after diagnosis

WEDNESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- A recent cancer diagnosis is associated with a higher risk of suicide and death from cardiovascular causes, with the risk being highest in the weeks after diagnosis, according to a study published in the April 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Fang Fang, M.D., Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues analyzed the immediate risk of suicide or death from cardiovascular causes among 6,073,240 Swedish adults from 1991 to 2006. Of these, 534,154 received a first diagnosis of cancer during this period.

The researchers found that, compared to those without cancer, patients diagnosed with cancer had a higher risk of suicide during the first week (relative risk [RR], 12.6) and during the first year (RR, 3.1) after diagnosis. Similarly, patients diagnosed with any cancer excluding central nervous system cancers (to avoid misdiagnosis between these tumors and stroke) had a higher risk of cardiovascular death during the first week (RR, 5.6) and during the first four weeks (RR, 3.3) after diagnosis. During the first year after diagnosis, the increased risk declined rapidly. The risk was notably higher for cancers with a poor prognosis.

"Our findings suggest that a cancer diagnosis constitutes a major stressor, one that immediately affects the risk of critical, fatal outcomes," Fang and colleagues conclude. "We speculate that our findings show only a portion of the range of effects induced by the emotional distress associated with a cancer diagnosis."

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95


The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95


Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95


More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.


Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.


Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.


More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events