Mental Health Conditions, Including Depression and Stress, Are Associated with Increased Odds of Gastric Cancer—Insights into the Role of Diet: A Case-Control Study

Farhad Vahid, Wena Rahmani, Sayed Hossein Davoodi, Torsten Bohn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Several risk factors, including nutritional/lifestyle ones, play a role in gastric cancer etiology. Further interactions with mental health have also been emphasized. We hypothesized that individuals with mental disorders would exhibit compromised nutrient intake, increasing their risk of gastric cancer. The state of mental health was evaluated in 82 patients with gastric cancer and 95 healthy controls using the 21-item Depression–Anxiety–Stress Scale. The participants’ dietary intakes were evaluated by a 168-item food frequency questionnaire. Based on fully adjusted logistic regressions, there was a significant association between depression (OR = 1.938, CI 95%: 1.009–3.723) and stress (OR = 2.630, CI 95%: 1.014–6.819) with increased odds of gastric cancer. According to fully adjusted multinomial regressions, vitamins A and B6, beta-carotene, and black tea decreased the odds of depression, based on comparing the control group with cases of depression, while sugar and salt increased its odds. The highest significant association was found for salt intake and anxiety in cases with present anxiety (OR = 4.899, 95% CI: 2.218–10.819), and the highest significant protective effect was found for vitamin B6 and depression in cases with present depression (OR = 0.132, 95% CI: 0.055–0.320). However, considering causal relationships and clarifying the underlying mechanisms is imperative and requires further investigation. Advising healthy dietary patterns, e.g., a Mediterranean diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals such as vitamin A, B6, beta-carotene, and fiber, is expected to reduce the odds of gastric cancer, possibly related to lower levels of anxiety and depression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4981
Number of pages18
JournalNutrients
Volume15
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2023

Keywords

  • beta-carotene
  • inflammation
  • oxidative stress
  • pyridoxine
  • vitamin D

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