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Monday, 14 September 2009

Today's story from the house of dumb

Today's story of improbable research comes from Canada where we hear that scientists who have undertaken a meta-analysis of previous research data have concluded that people with cancer who are depressed are more likely to die than are patients with good mental health, according to the science journal Cancer.

The study reported that death rates from cancer "were up to 25 per cent higher in patients experiencing depressive symptoms and up to 39 per cent higher in patients diagnosed with major or minor depression." The scientists say thet this demonstrates that there is a link between cancer survival rates and mental health, and it is hard to disagree with their assertion based on the evidence.

But their conclusion that alleviating depression might improve survival rates seems wide of the mark Terminal cancer is widely regarded as worse that a bit of a bummer and is likely to depress most people.

The scientists say the point is unproven and, naturally, would like funding for further research.

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