Stress, Lack of Social Support Linked to Prostate Cancer Mortality

“ (Reuters Health) – High levels of perceived stress and lack of social support were associated with higher mortality rates among men with prostate cancer, in a study presented February 20 at the annual meeting of the American College of Preventive Medicine in New Orleans. Researchers analyzed data from 4,105 prostate cancer patients participating in a national follow-up study in Sweden. They had been diagnosed with localized prostate cancer between 1997 and 2002. All were less than 70. The men were asked to complete Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale, a 14-item questionnaire that asks responders to assess the degree to which various life situations are considered stressful. Their responses were then added together to produce a total perceived stress score. They were also asked questions about the loss of loved ones, difficulty sleeping, and their ability to talk about emotional problems with partners, friends, and family. Emotional and behavioral factors such as grieving, poor sleep and lack of emotional support were more common among those with higher levels of perceived stress. During a mean follow-up of 51.3 months after the questionnaires were returned, there were 127 prostate cancer deaths (3.1%) and 276 deaths from other causes (6.7%). Men in the highest tertile of perceived stress had a 66% increased risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality compared to men in the lowest tertile. A sensitivity analysis was performed to ensure that this finding was not biased by rapidly deteriorating health and/or hastened mortality. After excluding men who died of prostate cancer within six months of responding to the questionnaire, the result did not change.” To read more, click HERE