Smoking can DOUBLE your risk of depression or schizophrenia, scientists warn
- Researchers from Bristol discovered that smoking increases the risk of schizophrenia by 127 percent
- They also discovered that the chance of developing depression had almost doubled for smokers
- Nicotine is believed to inhibit dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain
According to a study, smoking can increase the risk of depression and schizophrenia.
Experts from the University of Bristol discovered that smokers are almost double the risk of getting mental health problems.
The study, conducted among nearly half a million people, contributes to the large catalog of health problems that are already linked to tobacco.
Academics could not prove that smoking causes depression or schizophrenia, and warned that they only found more evidence to link them.
A study of nearly half a million people from researchers at the University of Bristol found that smoking increases the risk of schizophrenia by as much as 127 percent (file photo)
Results, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, also showed that people with the conditions start smoking more often.
But the evidence that smoking suggests leads to poor mental health – as opposed to the other way around – was much stronger.
Main author Dr. Robyn Wootton and her team believe that nicotine hinders dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain.
Dopamine is a naturally occurring chemical and regulates a person's emotions, just like serotonin – known as the & # 39; happy chemical & # 39; that contributes to well-being.
The scientific paper calls for more to be done to help smokers with mental disorders stop.
WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
Although it is normal to feel down from time to time, people with depression may remain unhappy for weeks or months.
Depression can affect anyone at any age and is fairly common – about one in ten people is likely to experience it at some point in their lives.
Depression is a real health condition that people cannot simply ignore or break out & # 39 ;.
Symptoms and effects vary, but you may also be constantly upset or hopeless, or lose interest in things you used to enjoy.
It can also cause physical symptoms such as sleeping problems, fatigue, low appetite or sex drive, and even physical pain.
In extreme cases this can lead to suicidal thoughts.
Traumatic events can cause this and people with a family history are more at risk.
It is important to consult a doctor if you think that you or someone you know has depression because it can be managed with changes in lifestyle, therapy or medication.
Source: NHS Choices
Dr. Wootton said: & # 39; People with mental illness are often overlooked in our efforts to reduce the prevalence of smoking, leading to health inequalities.
& # 39; Our work shows that we must do everything we can to prevent starting smoking and to encourage smoking cessation due to the consequences for mental and physical health. & # 39;
The toxicity of tobacco is well established – & # 39; smoking is deadly & # 39; is legally stuck on every cigarette box.
Smoking is known to cause lung cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, among other things.
According to data, 78,000 people were killed in England last year. And 480,000 people died from smoking in the US last year.
Smoking also makes the largest contribution to the average 10 to 20 years shorter life expectancy in people with mental health problems.
Dr. Wooten and colleagues used UK Biobank data from 462,690 people of European descent. They were all between 40 and 69 years old.
Eight percent of the participants were defined as current smokers and 22 percent former smokers.
The smoking rate among people with serious mental illness is more than 50 percent higher than among the general population, figures suggest.
Professor Ann McNeill, co-chair of the Mental Health and Smoking Partnership, said: “Helping people with mental illnesses to quit smoking is the best way to help them live longer.
& # 39; Although we have seen smoking rates drop dramatically over the past four decades for the population as a whole, we have not seen the same decline for people with mental illness. & # 39;
Earlier this year, the researchers published a study in the British Journal of Psychiatry that showed that smoking tobacco increases the risk of bipolar disorder.
Smoking among psychiatric patients & # 39; is 50% higher & # 39;
The Bristol study came on the same day as an Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) report.
That report calls for more to be done to help smokers with mental illness quit.
Smoking killed 78,000 people in England last year and is the largest contributor to the average 10-20 year reduction in life expectancy among people with mental illness, ASH says.
Action against smoking and health (ASH) said that smoking among people with serious mental illnesses is more than 50 percent higher than among the general population.
Previous studies that have looked at this association have not been able to determine whether it is a cause-effect relationship – and in which direction.
The ASH report, funded by Public Health England, found that 82 percent of the psychiatric trusts surveyed have a comprehensive smoke-free policy – the goal of the government is 100 percent.
Of the trusts that responded to the report, all offered nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), but only 47 percent offered the most effective smoking treatment of a combination or varenicline.
In 55 percent of the trusts, patients were not always asked about their smoking status upon admission.
Staff assisted patients in smoking breaks every day in 57 percent of trusts, despite the fact that NICE does not recommend smoking breaks supervised by staff or staff facilitated.
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