Stress and survival after cancer: A prospective study of a Finnish population-based cohort

Kumi Saito-Nakaya, Pernille E. Bidstrup, Naoki Nakaya, Kirsten Frederiksen, Susanne O. Dalton, Yosuke Uchitomi, Pia Verkasalo, Markku Koskenvuo, Eero Pukkala, Jaakko Kaprio, Christoffer Johansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Stress has been suggested to reduce survival after cancer, but the results of previous studies have been contradictory. We investigated the hypothesis in a national cohort of adults in Finland. Of those who completed the Stressful Life Events scale and the Stress of Daily Activities scale, 1470 and 1882, respectively, later had cancer and were included in the analysis, covering 23 years of follow-up between 1982 and 2004. In Cox regression analysis, the multivariate hazard ratio (HR) was 0.99 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.96-1.01) for total number of life events and the HR for the life change score was 0.99 (95% CI, 0.95-1.03). Further, the HR was 0.92 (95% CI, 0.69-1.22) for severe daily stress. Overall, the results of the current study do not support the hypothesis that stress reduces cancer survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-235
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Epidemiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr


  • Cancer
  • Cohort study
  • Finnish
  • Stress
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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