Smoking Increases Risk for Mental Illness

Smoking increased the risk for being hospitalized with a mental illness by 250 percent
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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

TUESDAY, Sept. 5, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking increases the risk for developing mental disorders, according to a study published online Aug. 21 in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica.

Lloyd Balbuena, from University of Saskatchewan in Canada, and colleagues estimated the relative contribution of genetic predispositions and self-reported smoking status (never, former, and present smoker) to hospitalizations for major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. The analysis included 337,140 U.K. Biobank participants of White British ancestry.

The researchers found that estimated single nucleotide polymorphism heritabilities were 23 percent for pack-years, 5.7 percent for ever smoking, and 5.7 percent for neuroticism. The polygenic risk scores for pack-years and neuroticism were associated with higher hospitalization risk for mental disorders across all smoking status groups. Compared with never smokers, the risk for mental health hospitalization was higher in both previous (hazard ratio [HR], 1.50) and current (HR, 2.58) smokers after adjusting for confounders.

“Since genetic liabilities for smoking and neuroticism are fixed at conception and smoking initiation generally started before age 20, our results show that preventing smoking in adolescents probably prevents the development of mental disorders,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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