Patients who undergo thyroidectomy face a steep increase in depression risk within two months after the surgery, needing special attention, a team of researchers said in a study.
Jointly with the Massachusetts General Hospital of Harvard Medical School, the researchers announced the results of the study that analyzed 187,176 patients who underwent thyroidectomy between 2009 and 2016, based on the data of the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service.
|From left, Professor Jeon Hong-jin of the Department of Psychiatry, Professor Chung Man-ki of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Professor Kim Sun-wook of the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Professor Shin Myung-hee of the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, at Samsung Medical Center of Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine.|
Four professors at Samsung Medical Center of Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine led the research team – Jeon Hong-jin of the Department of Psychiatry, Chung Man-ki of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kim Sun-wook of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Shin Myung-hee of the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine.
Among the 187,176 patients, 16,744 (8.9 percent) were diagnosed with depression within two months after the surgery. Among them, 12,907 (77.1 percent) had a total thyroidectomy, and the rest 3,837 (22.9 percent), partial thyroidectomy. The risk of depression was at the highest at the second month after thyroidectomy, and the risk was higher in patients with total thyroidectomy than in those with a partial one, the research team said.
Compared to a year before thyroidectomy, the incidence of depression rose 1.81 times higher and peaked two months after the surgery. In patients with partial thyroidectomy, the rate went up 1.68 folds, also two months after the surgery. The depression risk was 1.27 times higher, and 1.29 times higher, respectively, right before the surgery.
The tendency to increase in depression risk continued for about a year and gradually ebbed to the level before the surgery. However, cancer-caused thyroidectomy prolonged the depression risk for up to two years.
People aged 50 or more were more vulnerable to depression risk. By sex, the male was more prone to depression risk after thyroidectomy. Men aged 50 or more had a 1.4 times higher chance of having depression, versus 1.1 times in women.
“Patients undergoing thyroidectomy should also pay attention to the development of depression,” Professor Jeon said. “If you have early symptoms of depression, such as depressed feelings, decreased motivation, anxiety, or insomnia, you should see a mental health professional for advice and treatment, to maintain the quality of life.”
The study was published in Thyroid, the official journal of the American Thyroid Association.
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