People who struggle with anxiety and depression are more likely to smoke

People who struggle with anxiety and depression are more likely to smoke
People who struggle with anxiety and depression are more likely to smoke
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People with depression and anxiety smoke more often: risk of lung cancer is higher

People who struggle with anxiety and depression are more likely to smoke. And smoking increases the risk of lung cancer. “Smoking explains why people with depression and anxiety have a slightly higher risk of lung cancer,” said study leader Femke Lamers of Amsterdam UMC. The results of this research were published on April 30 in the leading journal Psychological Medicine.

You don’t get cancer from a negative mental state. This emerged from research by Amsterdam UMC in 2023. This study did show that people with depression and anxiety have an increased risk of lung cancer. The researchers wanted to know why. Femke Lamers leads a large international consortium that investigated this question. She explains: “Many patients with cancer who also struggle with depression or anxiety feel that their mental state has increased their risk of cancer. We know from the 2023 study that this is not the case. Yet we saw an increased risk of lung cancer in the group with depression and anxiety. Our recent research shows that this exception can easily be explained by the fact that these people smoke cigarettes more often than others. This leads to a slightly higher risk of lung cancer.”

Healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle is important for everyone. So exercise more, eat healthy, don’t drink too much alcohol and stop smoking. “People with depression and anxiety complaints would also do well to lead a healthy lifestyle. But we also understand that this is not that easy for everyone,” says Lamers.

Big data
This international study Psychosocial factors and cancer incidence (PSY-CA) used data from almost 320,000 people from 18 large databases in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Canada. In the Netherlands, Amsterdam UMC, UMC Groningen, Utrecht UMC, Erasmus MC, Maastricht University, RIVM and Netherlands Cancer Institute were involved. This project, funded by the Dutch Cancer Society, is larger and better designed than previous research on this subject.

Read the scientific article in Psychological Medicine

Source: Amsterdam UMC


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The article is in Dutch

Tags: People struggle anxiety depression smoke

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