Relationship of Mood Disturbance to Cigarette Smoking Status Among 252 Patients With a Current Mood Disorder

Background: The relationship between cigarette smoking and mood has received increasing attention. This retrospective study evaluated the relationship between mood disturbance and cigarette smoking status among patients with a current mood disorder. The association between level of nicotine dependence and severity of mood disturbance was also evaluated among current smokers.

Method: Retrospective data for 252 patients (63.5% male, 85.0% white) admitted for treatment of a mood disorder at the San Diego Veteran Affairs Mental Health Clinical Research Center between November 1988 and June 1997 were studied. All current cigarette smokers at admission (N = 126) were matched with nonsmokers (N = 126) on the primary DSM-IV Axis I mood disorder diagnosis, admission status (inpatient or outpatient), gender, age (± 5 years), and ethnicity. The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D), the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Profile of Mood States (POMS) were administered to patients on admission. Conditional logistic regression analysis for matched sets with a backward elimination was used to identify factors independently predictive of current smoking status.

Results: A greater number of cups of coffee consumed per day (p = .002), a history of alcoholism (p = .004), and higher POMS fatigue subscale scores (p = .007) were predictive of current smoking status. Among current smokers, the HAM-D terminal insomnia item was positively associated with mean number of cigarettes smoked per day (p = .012).

Conclusion: Cigarette smoking should be addressed in the treatment of patients with a current mood disorder. Smokers experience greater levels of fatigue than nonsmokers. In addition, higher cigarette consumption levels are associated with mild-to-severe symptoms of terminal insomnia.

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(5):319-324