Risk of Depression After Prostate Biopsy Apparent Even in Those with a Benign Diagnosis

Researchers investigated the risk of developing depression following a prostate cancer work-up and found that men with both benign and malignant tumors have increased risk for depression compared with men who do not have cancer. Their findings were presented at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting.

The researchers used the Danish Prostate Cancer Registry to identify men who underwent prostate needle biopsies in Denmark between 1997 and 2011. The primary outcome was indication of moderate to severe depression, which was defined as hospital contact for depression or first redeemed antidepressant prescription.

The authors compared men who underwent a diagnostic prostate cancer work-up with a minimum of five age-matched men who did not have cancer. They excluded men with other cancers or major psychiatric disorder and those who previously used antidepressants up to three years prior to study entry.

Information on participant age, period, cohabitation status, income quintile, and comorbidity was collected from National Danish registries. They identified 54,766 men who underwent a prostate cancer work-up including transrectal biopsies of the prostate, of which 21,419 biopsy sets were benign and 33,347 were diagnosed as prostate cancer. There was an increasing cumulative incidence of depression in all groups. However, men diagnosed with prostate cancer had a significantly higher risk up to 18 years of follow-up.

The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of depression in men diagnosed with prostate cancer increased throughout follow-up, with the highest risk in the two years following diagnosis (HR=2.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.66-2.87). However, after biopsy, even men with benign results had an increased risk of depression (HR=1.22; 95% CI, 1.14-1.31) in the first two years compared with men who did not have cancer. Thereafter, there were no observed differences.

Future studies are needed to further analyze the impact of stage and treatment modalities,” the researchers concluded.


Friberg AS, Brasso K, Andersen EW, et al. Risk of depression following prostate cancer work-up: A nationwide study. Abstract #5061. Presented at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, June 1, 2019.