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ALA/ATS Meeting Explores Gender Differences In Smoking And Lung Transplant Outcomes And Heart Attack Risk From Asthma Medication

SAN DIEGO, April 27 -- New findings on the different reasons men and women smoke, lung transplant outcomes and gender, and the risk of heart attack from a common asthma medication in people with heart disease were discussed here today by an expert panel at the American Lung Association/American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Gender Differences and Smoking

Men are more likely than women to grab a cigarette if they're angry, anxious, sad or tired, a new study presented at the conference suggests. Smoking also is more likely to decrease anger and sadness in men, according to the study, conducted by Dr. Ralph Delfino and Dr. Larry Jamner at the University of California, Irvine.

The study included 25 women and 35 men ages 18 to 42, who made three diary entries an hour, for up to 48 hours, recording their mood and smoking behavior. The urge to smoke was more strongly associated with anger, anxiety and alertness in men than in women; feelings of sadness or fatigue were linked with the urge to smoke in men only. Smoking seemed to decrease feelings of anger in those men who got angry more often, and to decrease feelings of sadness in men, but not in women. Smoking was associated with feelings of happiness in women, but not in men.

These findings suggests possible gender differences in the effect of nicotine on the central nervous system, possibly because of different interactions with hormones, according to the researchers. "The commonly held belief before this study was that women smoked more for emotional reasons, but this does not appear to be the case in the real-life settings measured in this study," Dr. Delfino said. "The results are consistent with the hypothesis that women are smoking less for mood control than men, and that social interactions may play a more important role in why women smoke. Ongoing research using similar diary techniques in adolescents may reveal targets for early preventiv
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Contact: Bill Glitz
wglitz@aol.com
619-525-6410
American Lung Association
27-Apr-1999


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