Smokeless Tobacco Use and Its Relation to Panic Disorder, Major Depression, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in American Indians

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
Nicotine & Tobacco Research (Impact Factor: 3.3). 02/2012; 14(9):1048-56. DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntr331
Source: PubMed


Rates of nicotine use are high in American Indians. Anxiety and depression tend to be associated with cigarette use, but the association of anxiety and depression with smokeless tobacco (ST) is less clear. We asked if panic disorder, major depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are related to lifetime ST use in 2 American Indian tribes.
Logistic regression analyses examined the association between lifetime panic disorder, major depression, and PTSD and the odds of lifetime ST use status after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, smoking status, and alcohol use disorders in 1,506 Northern Plains and 1,268 Southwest tribal members.
Odds of lifetime ST use was 1.6 times higher in Northern Plains tribal members with a lifetime history of PTSD after controlling for sociodemographic variables and smoking (95% CI: 1.1, 2.3; p = .01). This association remained significant after further adjustment for panic disorder and major depression (odds ratio [OR] = 1.5; 95% CI: 1.0, 2.2; p = .04) but was diminished after accounting for alcohol use (OR = 1.3; 95% CI: 0.9, 1.9; p = .23). In the Southwest, lifetime psychiatric disorders were not associated with lifetime ST use status. Increasing psychiatric comorbidity was significantly linked to increased odds of ST use in both tribes.
This study is the first to examine psychiatric conditions and lifetime ST use in a large, geographically diverse American Indian community sample. Although approximately 30% of tribal members were lifetime users of ST, the association with lifetime psychiatric disorders was not as strong as those observed with cigarette smoking. Understanding shared mechanisms between all forms of tobacco use with anxiety and depressive disorders remains an important area for investigation.

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