DOI: 10.1002/pros.24601 ISSN: 0270-4137

Evidence for a causal effect of major depressive disorder, anxiety on prostatitis risk: A univariate and multivariate Mendelian randomization study

Yong Zhang, Rui Peng, Zhan Chen, Wei Zhang, Zhenmin Liu, Siyang Xu, Hua Zhu, Jiangang Chen, Bing Zheng
  • Urology
  • Oncology



Observational studies have shown an association between major depressive disorder (MDD), anxiety, and prostatitis. However, the causal relationship between MDD, anxiety, and prostatitis remains controversial. Therefore, we aimed to use two‐sample Mendelian randomization (MR) to assess the causal effects of MDD and anxiety on prostatitis.


We conducted univariable and multivariable MR analyses using summary statistics from publicly available genome‐wide association studies to estimate the causal relationships between MDD, anxiety, and prostatitis risk. In the main MR analysis, the inverse‐variance weighted (IVW) method was used, while secondary methods included the weighted median, weighted mode, MR‐Egger regression, and MR pleiotropy residual and outlier (MR‐PRESSO) tests to detect and correct for the presence of pleiotropy.


MDD had 97 independent instrumental variables (IVs) and anxiety had 15 IVs. Univariable MR analysis showed that genetically determined MDD had a detrimental causal effect on prostatitis (IVW: odds ratio [OR] = 1.47, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.12–1.92, p = 0.005), while no causal relationship was found between anxiety and prostatitis (IVW: OR = 0.25, 95% CI = 0.02–2.82, p = 0.26). More convincingly, after adjusting for confounding factors such as body mass index, alcohol consumption, and smoking, the genetic liability for MDD remained associated with prostatitis risk, with no strong evidence of anxiety affecting prostatitis incidence.


This study supports the notion that MDD has a detrimental effect on prostatitis risk, and strategies focused on addressing MDD may be one of the cornerstones for treating prostatitis. The potential preventive value of treating MDD for prostatitis should be further investigated in future research.

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