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Antidepressants and Testicular Cancer: Cause Versus Association

J Clin Psychiatry 2014;75(3):e198-e200

A data mining study that examined associations between 105 drugs and 55 cancer sites found significant associations between 2 selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (fluoxetine and paroxetine) and testicular cancer. The study suggested several reasons why these associations merited further investigation. A later study tested specific relationships between 12 antidepressant drugs and testicular cancer and subtypes thereof; whereas significant relationships were again found, these disappeared after adjusting for confounding variables. These 2 studies are educative because they illustrate how false-positive results can easily arise in exploratory research and how confounding may be responsible for statistically significant relationships in study designs that are not randomized controlled trials.

J Clin Psychiatry 2014;75(3):e198–e200 (doi:10.4088/JCP.14f09056)

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