Is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) a risk factor for ovarian cancer?

Updated: Aug 10, 2020
  • Author: Andrew E Green, MD; Chief Editor: Yukio Sonoda, MD  more...
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Answer

According to the findings of a longitudinal study, women who experienced six or more symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in life had a twofold greater risk of developing ovarian cancer compared with women who never had any PTSD symptoms (age-adjusted hazard ratio [HR]=2.10, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.12, 3.95). Analyzing data from nearly 55,000 participants in the Nurses' Health Study II, Roberts et al reported that having higher levels of PTSD symptoms can be associated with increased risks of ovarian cancer even decades after a traumatic event. The study also showed that women who experienced 6-7 symptoms associated with PTSD were at a significantly higher risk of developing the high-grade serous histotype of ovarian cancer, the most aggressive form of ovarian cancer. [26]


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