Young Smokers at Risk of Anxiety in Later Life

| 22/02/2012 | 5 Comments More

Teenagers who smoke are much likely to suffer from panic attacks and anxiety disorders later in life.  A study of 16yr olds who smoked a packet a day found that by the age of 22yrs they were up to 12times more likely to have nervous disorders.

The researchers said they hoped the findings would help to convince young people to give up smoking or not to start in the first place.  Jeffery Johnson of Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute said “teenagers who smoke a packet a day were five times more likely to have generalised anxiety disorder, five times more likely to have agoraphobia (fear of going outside) and twelve times more likely to have a panic attack during early adulthood.”

At the same time, the report said teenagers who had anxiety disorders to begin with were not more likely to seek relief by taking up smoking.  This suggested that there was a casual relationship between the disorders and smoking.

Previous research has reported a link but it was not clear which came first, smoking or the propensity towards having such disorders.  The study published in the Journal of The American Medical Association said there are the first findings from a community based longitudinal study to demonstrate that heavy smoking during adolescence is associated with increased risk of agoraphobia, generalised anxiety disorder during early adulthood.

Dr Johnson added “by not starting to smoke, teenagers can actually reduce the likelihood that they will develop serious problems with anxiety during early adulthood.”

By Mike Buss.

Category: Health News, Kids Fitness & Nutrition Advice

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