The relation between stressful life events and breast cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women with high rate of mortality. This systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the relation between stressful life events and breast cancer.
We searched PubMed, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and Google scholar databases from their inception until June 2018. The keywords and phrases we used in the search were (life events AND stress AND breast cancer OR neoplasm) to identify potentially relevant cohort studies that reported relative risk estimates and confidence intervals of this association. Pooled Risk ratio and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using random effects model.
Out of 168 potentially relevant publications, 11 documents met the inclusion criteria. The results showed that history of stressful life events slightly increases the risk of breast cancer [pooled Risk Ratio: 1.11 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.19)].
History of stressful life events could be associated with a moderate increase in the risk of breast cancer. We advise that receiving psychological and counseling services after occurrence of stressful life events of women should be taken seriously.
KeywordsStress Life events Neoplasm Breast cancer Psychological distress
We specially thank all researchers and scientists that have developed their research projects in breast cancer since the past decades and have provided us a treasure of valuable knowledge in this field.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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