• Women's Cancer Research Foundation

Associations Between Multimorbidity and Depression in Breast Cancer Survivors


Researchers used the UK Biobank (a national biomedical database) to examine the link between multimorbidity (having several co-morbid conditions, namely diabetes, hypertension) and depression in females diagnosed and/or treated for breast cancer. They identified 8,438 women with a previous diagnosis of breast cancer. Self-reported lifetime number of chronic conditions were analyzed in terms of total number (e.g., 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5+). Breast cancer survivors commonly developed multimorbidity, with 32.9% of females encountering one and 30.1% having two or more chronic health conditions. The three most common co-morbid conditions included hypertension (25.8%), pain (18.3%), and asthma (11.6%). Findings showed a strong association between having 2 or more co-morbid conditions and the incidence of depression in women with breast cancer. This link was further pronounced as the number of chronic co-morbid conditions increased. Consequently, since patients are living longer with cancer, there is a greater need to provide mental health support services for them.


About Women’s Cancer Research Foundation The Women’s Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF) is one of Southern California’s and the nation’s most active research organizations for female cancers. We are dedicated to serving the interests of patients, families, and friends affected by women’s cancers. WCRF partners with physician-scientists nationally to make differences in women’s lives by offering hope, strength, and progress.


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