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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Smoking and Depression

Traditionally, the risk factors that have recieved most attention in research about depression are psychosocial factors such as cognitive style and loss events. An exception to this rule is the emphasis that has been placed upon the role of genes in etiology. However, over the years, many studies have suggested that there is a strong association between smoking and depression. There are several possible explanations: one possibility is that people with depression may use nicotine to self-medication their symptoms. Another possibility is that smoking is a risk factor for depression, or their may be shared risk factors for both things. A PhD student at the University of Calgary has recently confirmed the existence of a strong association in the Canadian population, see here.