16 February 2021

…But Black men are affected more, finds a new analysis

One quarter of men show symptoms of depression after a prostate cancer diagnosis and these symptoms are often associated with increased mortality. But Black men are disproportionately affected.

These are the findings of a new analysis of the medical records of armed forces veterans, reported at the 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held online last week.

The American study found that 26% of veterans were diagnosed with depression after a prostate cancer diagnosis, and one third of them was prescribed an antidepressant. Veterans with depression had higher all-cause mortality compared to those without.

African American men had worse depression-related outcomes than white men. They were more likely to be diagnosed with depression and less likely to be prescribed antidepressants. Analysis indicated that mortality was more closely associated with depression in African American men than white men.

“Identifying and managing incident depression should be a key target of efforts to improve prostate cancer outcomes and disparities,” say the authors, from the University of Pennsylvania.