Unique Danish research environment attracts Japanese researchers  

2008.04.25
Japanese research scientists come to Denmark to study the connection between cancer and stress
Denmark has the world's longest chronological archive of medical records relating to cancer and a public sector psychiatric health register which is second to none, a fact that has now attracted two Japanese research scientists - who also happen to be a married couple - to the country, writes the Danish Cancer Society on its website.
 
Naoki Nakaya and Kumi Saito-Nakaya moved to Copenhagen two weeks ago to study the connection between cancer and stress at the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology of the Danish Cancer Society.
 
There is a general assumption that cancer and stress affect each other - that cancer can increase the stress level in relatives of cancer patients, and that stress can affect the immune system by releasing hormones and lead to a more unhealthy lifestyle.
 
One of the more specific areas that Naoki Nakaya and Kumi Saito-Nakaya will investigate over the next two years is whether spouses of breast cancer patients have an increased risk of depression and cancer than their peers. Comparing the Danish cancer records and the psychiatric health register will enable the research pair to carry out a study which cannot be made anywhere else in the world.
 
Because of significant cultural differences between Denmark and Japan, many of the results from the Danish records need to be reinterpreted in order to be useful in a Japanese context.

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