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Original Research

Open Access

Interaction effects between depression and gender on risk of cancer

  • Eujene Jung1
  • Soon Mi Jang2
  • Hyun Lee Kim3
  • Hyun Ho Ryu4,*,

1Department of emergency medicine, Chonnam National University Hospital, 61456 Gwangju, Republic of Korea

2Department of nephrology and dialysis room, Chonnam National University Hospital, 61456 Gwangju, Republic of Korea

3Department of internal medicine, Chosun University Hospital, 61186 Gwangju, Republic of Korea

4Department of Medicine, Chonnam National University, 61456 Gwangju, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.22514/jomh.2024.073 Vol.20,Issue 5,May 2024 pp.76-82

Submitted: 23 October 2023 Accepted: 15 November 2023

Published: 30 May 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Hyun Ho Ryu E-mail:


Despite the recognized association between depression and cancer risk, there remains a paucity of research exploring the gender-specific variations in this relationship. Our study using prospective cohort data, aimed to investigate the relationship between depression and cancer risk, and to discern how this association varies by gender. Utilizing the Korea Genome and Epidemiology Study (KoGES) prospective cohort data, our primary exposure variables were depression and sex. The occurrence of cancer served as the main outcome of interest. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox regression analysis. To assess the interaction effects of depression and sex on cancer incidence, an interaction analysis was conducted. In cox proportional logistic regression analysis, depression was not associated with cancer risk (HR: 1.14, 95% CI, 0.85–1.51). However, for interaction analysis, in the male group, depression was not identified as a risk factor for cancer, with a HR of 0.88 (95% CI, 0.52–1.48). Conversely, in the female group, depression was associated with a heightened risk of cancer, demonstrating an HR of 1.35 (95% CI, 1.06–1.90)(p for interaction < 0.10). In our study, while depression emerged as a risk factor for cancer in females, it paradoxically appeared to have a protective effect against cancer in males. This underscores the importance of adopting sex-specific strategies in treating depression, potentially aiding in tailoring cancer risk reduction approaches, particularly for males.


Depression; Gender; Cancer

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Eujene Jung,Soon Mi Jang,Hyun Lee Kim,Hyun Ho Ryu. Interaction effects between depression and gender on risk of cancer. Journal of Men's Health. 2024. 20(5);76-82.


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