Depression risk after smoking cessation
Smokers are less likely to relapse.
Smokers with a history of major depression who stop smoking are more likely to relapse into depression than those who continue to smoke, according to a new study published in The Lancet.
Researchers looked at 76 smokers who had a history of major depression, who were free of symptoms and who had not been taking antidepressant medication for six months.
The study followed 42 individuals who successfully stopped smoking and 34 who continued smoking over a twomonth period.
Researchers conducted structured clinical interviews at three and six month intervals after the cessation period to assess for the recurrence of major depression.
The results showed those individuals who stopped smoking were seven times more likely to have a recurrence of major depression than those who continued to smoke.
The authors report that because nine of the original group of smoking abstainers started smoking again, took antidepressants or both, before they became clinically depressed, the study underestimates the effect of smoking cessation on depression.
Glassman, A.H. et al. Smoking cessation and the course of major depression: A follow-up study, The Lancet, 2001, 357:9272, pp.1929- 32.
Copyright Australian Nursing Federation Sep 2001