Cigarette smoking and depression linked

January 01, 0001

Cigarette smoking and depression linked

Research on the comorbidity between cigarette smoking and major depression has not elucidated the pathways by which smoking is associated with depression. The aim of this study by researchers from New Zealand was to examine the causal relationships between smoking and depression via fixed- effects regression and structural equation modelling. Data were gathered on nicotine-dependence symptoms and depressive symptoms in early adulthood using a birth cohort of over 1000 individuals.

Adjustment for confounding factors revealed persistent significant associations between nicotine-dependence symptoms and depressive symptoms. Structural equation modelling suggested that the best-fitting causal model was one in which nicotine dependence led to increased risk of depression. The findings suggest that the comorbidity between smoking and depression arises from two routes; the first involving common or correlated risk factors and the second a direct path in which smoking increases the risk of depression.

The researchers concluded: "This evidence is consistent with the conclusion that there is a cause and effect relationship between smoking and depression in which cigarette smoking increases the risk of symptoms of depression."

As is schizophrenia linked. Linked, but causation is not demonstrated. Perhaps self-treatment with nicotine.

For the full abstract, click here.

The British Journal of Psychiatry 196:440-446, May 2010
© 2010 The Royal College of Psychiatrists
Cigarette smoking and depression: tests of causal linkages using a longitudinal birth cohort. Joseph M. Boden, David M. Fergusson, and L. John Horwood. Correspondence to David Fergusson: [email protected]

Category: P. Psychological. Keywords: cigarette, smoking, depression, causal linkages, longitudinal birth cohort, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 16 July 2010

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