UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Risk of Anxiety and Depression after Diagnosis of Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer: A Population-Based Cohort Study Howren, Alyssa; Sayre, E. C.; Cheng, Vicki; Oveisi, Niki; McTaggart-Cowan, Helen; De Vera, Mary


Given the increasing incidence of young-onset colorectal cancer (yCRC; <50 years), we aimed to evaluate the risk of depression and anxiety in individuals with yCRC in comparison to average-age-onset CRC (aCRC; 50 years) and to cancer-free controls, with stratification by sex. Our cohort study identified individuals ( 18 years) with CRC and cancer-free controls (10:1) matched on age and sex using population-based linked administrative health databases in British Columbia, Canada. We assessed depression and anxiety using validated algorithms. We evaluated the risk of depression and anxiety using multivariable Cox proportional hazard models. The cohort included 54,634 individuals with CRC (46.5% female, mean age 67.9 years) and 546,340 controls (46.5% female, mean age 67.9 years). Those with yCRC as compared to aCRC had an increased risk for depression (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.41; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.25 to 1.60), and when stratified by sex, the risk was only significant among males (aHR 1.76; 95% CI 1.48 to 2.10). When comparing individuals with yCRC to cancer-free controls, the overall risk of depression (aHR 1.00; 95% CI 0.92 to 1.10) and anxiety (aHR 1.10; 95% CI 0.95 to 1.27) was non-significant; however, males had a significantly higher risk for mental health disorders, specifically depression (aHR 1.17; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.33). Altogether, our findings that individuals with yCRC experience higher risk of depression compared to those with aCRC as well as cancer-free controls, particularly among males, suggest effects of age and sex on mental health outcomes.

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