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Anxiety high among oesophageal cancer patients

11 Nov 2020
One in three Malaysians suffer from mental health problems

Patients suffering from oesophageal cancer (EC) suffer from heightened levels of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), reports a new study.

Researchers conducted a multicentre population-based analysis in high-risk regions for EC. All included participants (n=25,650; mean age, 55.52±7.66 years; 56.58 percent female) received free endoscopy screening. All suspicious results were referred for pathological biopsy. GAD was assessed using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale-7.

A total of 102 EC cases were ultimately diagnosed, corresponding to a prevalence rate of 0.40 percent. In comparison, there were 6,780 cases of oesophagitis and 1,377 of low-grade (LGIN) and 272 of high-grade (HGIN) interepithelial neoplasia.

The mean GAD score in the whole cohort was 1.96, and 16.90 percent were deemed to have anxiety. Among the 9,586 participants who needed to undergo oesophageal endoscopy and pathology, the corresponding values were 1.96 and 17.98 percent. Mean scores were likewise higher in participants with LGIN, HGIN, and EC.

Multiple logistic regression analysis found a positive and significant interaction between anxiety disorder and oesophageal lesions. In particular, those with HGIN showed the strongest likelihood of also having GAD (odds ratio [OR], 1.35, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.29–1.42).

A similar significant correlation was observed for EC (OR, 1.19, 95 percent CI, 1.10–1.29), but not for LGIN and oesophagitis.  

“Considering the growing emphasis on the management of mental health disorders, more healthcare resources should be invested to alleviate GAD among vulnerable and high-risk groups, which may be an effective strategy to alleviate the burden of mental disorders and provide an instructive approach for oesophageal cancer prevention and control,” the researchers said.

“Meanwhile, the general public should be aware of the increased risk of EC and HGIN lesions in persons with GAD,” they added.

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Most Read Articles
3 days ago
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