Perceived stress and risk of colorectal cancer in men and women: a prospective cohort study

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OBJECTIVE: We aim to assess the relationship between stress and risk of primary colorectal cancer in men and women. DESIGN: A prospective cohort study. SETTING: The Copenhagen City Heart Study, Denmark. SUBJECTS: A total of 6488 women and 5426 men were included in the study. The participants were asked about intensity and frequency of stress at baseline in 1981-1983 and were followed until the end of 2000 in the Danish Cancer Registry. Less than 0.1% was lost to follow-up. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: First time incidence of primary colorectal cancer. RESULTS: During follow-up 162 women and 166 men were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Women with moderate and high stress intensity had a hazard ratio of 0.60 (95% CI: 0.37-0.98) and 0.52 (0.23-1.14) for colorectal cancer, respectively, compared to women with no stress. For colon cancer, a one-unit increase on a seven-point stress-score was associated with an 11% lower incidence of the disease (HR = 0.89, 95% CI: 0.81-0.99) amongst women. There was no consistent evidence of an association between stress and colorectal cancer in men. CONCLUSION: Perceived stress was associated with lower risk of particularly colon cancer in women, whilst there was no clear relationship between stress and colorectal cancer in men.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Internal Medicine
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)192-202
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Keywords: Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Cohort Studies; Colorectal Neoplasms; Denmark; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Proportional Hazards Models; Prospective Studies; Stress, Psychological

ID: 9612731