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Nicotine dependence & psychiatric disorders

Adults with nicotine dependence and/or psychiatric disorders consume 70 percent of all cigarettes smoked in the United States, according to results of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study reported in the November issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry (Volume 61). Based on the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), the article provides the first national estimates among U.S. adults of the prevalence and co-occurrence of nicotine dependence and a broad array of other psychiatric disorders including alcohol and drug abuse and dependence, mood and anxiety disorders, and personality disorders as defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition (DSM-IV).

Nicotine dependence is most prevalent among persons with current drug and alcohol use disorders (52.4 percent and 34.5 percent, respectively) and somewhat lower among persons with any mood or anxiety disorder (29.2 percent and 25.3 percent, respectively) and personality disorders (27.3 percent). Persons with a current psychiatric disorder--whether or not they are nicotine dependent--make up 30.3 percent of the population and consume 46.3 percent of all cigarettes smoked. Nicotine dependent persons with co-existing psychiatric disorders comprise only about 7 percent of the adult population but smoke about 34 percent of all cigarettes.

"Until now, surprisingly little has been known about the comorbidity of nicotine dependence and other psychiatric disorders and its role in the national burden of smoking on health," said Ting-Kai Li, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at NIH. "This report fills that gap and points to a need to focus smoking cessation efforts on persons with nicotine dependence, especially those with co-occurring alcohol and drug use disorders or other comorbid psychiatric conditions."

The NESARC is a representative su
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Contact: Ann Bradley
abradley@mail.nih.gov
301-443-0595
NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
1-Nov-2004


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