Wife comforting concerned husband

Experts predict cancer cases in the U.S. will continue to rise in the coming decades. According to research published in 2021 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cancer prevalence rates are estimated to increase by nearly 50% by 2050. But it’s not just the body that’s affected. A 2020 study published in Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences notes that an estimated 30% to 35% of cancer patients are affected by a psychiatric disorder throughout the duration of the disease. In addition, research now shows the degree to which spouses of patients with cancer are also susceptible to the development of psychiatric disorders.

Across Denmark and Sweden, researchers from a new study published in JAMA Network Open compared more than 546,000 spouses of patients with cancer and over 2 million participants who did not have a spouse with cancer to assess the risk level of first-onset psychiatric disorders between the two groups. Danish patients with cancer were diagnosed between 1986 and 2016, while Swedish patients with cancer were diagnosed between 1973 and 2014. The research analysis was conducted between May 2021 and January 2022.