Thursday, June 16, 2011

Smoking Linked to Depression, Risk for Suicide

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry recently carried out genetic linkage analyses of DSM-IV-diagnosed major depressive disorder in two samples that are part of the Nicotine Addiction Genetics project, an international consortium focused on tobacco dependence. “We used an affected sibling-pair design, in which at least two adult offspring per family reported a history of DSM-IV major depressive disorder, and tested for linkage,” said the group in its report. “Results appear to confirm a genome-wide significant linkage signal at chromosome 3p25-3p26.” The authors note that their finding, in light of previous studies, raises the possibility of common genetic influences across major depressive disorder and smoking-related behavior, or of gene-by-environment (i.e., smoking) interaction effects on major depressive disorder.

Nicotine dependence has been identified as a risk factor for suicide attempts. Read more about it at