Psychological Medicine

Research Article

Depression and cancer: a follow-up study

F. A. Whitlocka1 c1 and M. Siskinda1

a1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Queensland, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Brisbane, Australia


Thirty-nine male and 90 female patients aged 40 and over, who had been given a primary diagnosis of depression, were followed up for 2⅓;13–4 years. During this period 9 male and 9 female patients died. Five male patients and 1 female died from cancer that had not been diagnosed at the time of their psychiatric admissions. The male cancer deaths are significantly higher than expected. The possible relationships of malignant neoplasm to affective disorder are discussed.


c1 Address for correspondence: Professor F. A. Whitlock, Department of Psychiatry, University of Queensland, Clinical Sciences Building, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Herston, 4029, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.