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Health New Researches

Smoking May Cause Depression

Smoking Rates

We all know that smoking is bad for your health. It causes cancer, heart disease, and more. But can it also increase the risk of mental health disorders like depression?

Well, a group of researchers from Canada’s Aarhus University’s Center for Quantitative Genetics and Genomics think that it does. So said their research compiled from the medical records taken from 350,000 people.

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Their information came from the UK Biobank, one of the largest databases in the world of human health information. The database contains genetic data on more than half a million people. The genetic data was paired with a lot of other health information and answers provided by the participants regarding their lifestyle.

The American Psychiatric Association says depression – a major depressive disorder – is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home.

Depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year. And one in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life. Depression can occur at any time, but on average, first appears during the late teens to mid-20s. Women are more likely than men to experience depression. Some studies show that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime. There is a high degree of heritability (approximately 40%) when first-degree relatives (parents/children/siblings) have depression.

And now, new figures compiled by the Aarhus University scientists show that smoking increases the risk of developing depression by more than 100 percent.

Doug Speed from the Center for Quantitative Genetics and Genomics at Aarhus University said of his research “the numbers speak for themselves.”

“Smoking does cause mental illness,” he added. “Although it’s not the only cause, smoking increases the risk of being hospitalized with a mental illness by 250 per cent.”

And Speed also found that smoking, in his words, typically comes before the mental illness, a long time before. On average, people from the data the researchers compiled began smoking at the age of 17, but they were typically not admitted to hospital with a mental disorder until after the age of 30.

One reason for this may be that nicotine can damage the brain, in addition to other parts of the body. And, as with other drugs, the damage is greater the earlier in life one begins smoking.

The bottom line here is that people now have another good reason to simply quit smoking.



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