Friday, April 25, 2008

Smokers' Rates of Depression Much Higher than Non-Smokers

According to new research from the University of Navarra, smokers have a 41% higher risk of suffering depression, in comparison with non-smokers.

This large and peer reviewed study was undertaken with more than 8,500 participants by scientists of the University of Navarra, in collaboration with the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Harvard School of Public Health. It shows the direct relationship between tobacco use and this disease.

The study is based on research undertaken over the course of 6 years on university graduates with an average age of 42. "Over the course of the tracking and data collection stage, 190 smokers who initially did not present depression were diagnosed with this disease by a doctor. In addition, 65 who were not diagnosed indicated that they were taking antidepressants during this period,” indicated author Miguel Ángel Martínez-González.

The authors point to “genetic and/or environmental disposition, which will increase the probability that the tobacco habit is retained and that the user will suffer depression as an independent issue,” and note as well that there is a great lessening of physical activity for these smokers as well, which may have something to do with the smokers' predisposition to depression.


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