Current daily smoking may be associated with increased risk for suicidal thoughts and attempts

March 07, 2005

CHICAGO - Suicidal thoughts or attempts are associated with daily smoking in current smokers, but not former smokers, according to an article in Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"A link between cigarette smoking and suicide has been reported in epidemiological investigations since the 1970s," according to background information in the article. However, these interpretations have been subject to controversy. It is believed that depression may result in part from smoking and should not be controlled in analysis of this relationship. However, it's also been reported that symptoms of depression in adolescents predicts their starting smoking and that major depression leads to an increased risk for regular smoking and dependence; therefore, a history of depression must be considered when examining suicide in smokers.

Naomi Breslau, Ph.D., from Michigan State University, East Lansing, and colleagues examined the association between cigarette smoking and suicidal thoughts and attempts. Participants aged 21 to 30 years were interviewed in 1989 and completed follow-up interviews in 1992, 1994, and 1999 - 2001. At each assessment, they were asked about lifetime smoking history, whether they were current daily smokers or had been in the past, and psychiatric disorders. Nearly nine hundred people completed all three investigations.

During the ten-year follow-up, nineteen participants attempted suicide, while 130 reported having suicidal thoughts. The researchers found that current daily smoking, but not past smoking, as reported at the beginning of each of the assessments, predicted the subsequent occurrence of suicidal thoughts or attempt. These findings remained when adjusted statistically for prior depression, substance use disorders, prior psychiatric disorders and prior suicidal disposition. Rates of suicidal behavior were also higher in those experiencing depression at the start of each follow-up period.

"The biological explanation of the finding that current smoking is associated with subsequent suicidal behavior is unclear," the authors conclude.

(Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005; 62: 328 - 334. Available post-embargo at www.archgenpsychiatry.com)

Editor's Note: This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, Md.
-end-
For more information, contact the JAMA/Archives Media Relations Department at 312-464-JAMA (5262) or email mediarelations@jama-archives.org

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Depression Articles from Brightsurf:

Children with social anxiety, maternal history of depression more likely to develop depression
Although researchers have known for decades that depression runs in families, new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, suggests that children suffering from social anxiety may be at particular risk for depression in the future.

Depression and use of marijuana among US adults
This study examined the association of depression with cannabis use among US adults and the trends for this association from 2005 to 2016.

Maternal depression increases odds of depression in offspring, study shows
Depression in mothers during and after pregnancy increased the odds of depression in offspring during adolescence and adulthood by 70%.

Targeting depression: Researchers ID symptom-specific targets for treatment of depression
For the first time, physician-scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have identified two clusters of depressive symptoms that responded to two distinct neuroanatomical treatment targets in patients who underwent transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) for treatment of depression.

A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals.

Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.

Depression breakthrough
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.

CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Read More: Depression News and Depression Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.