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Association between e-cigarette use and depression in US cancer survivors: a cross-sectional study

Abstract

Purpose

Though prior studies have observed significant association between e-cigarette use and mental health outcomes including depression in the general population, the relationship between e-cigarette use and clinical depression in the cancer survivor subpopulation is unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine the cross-sectional association between e-cigarette use and self-reported clinical depression among cancer survivors.

Methods

Pooled data from the 2017 and 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey were used. Multivariable logistic regression was used to analyze the independent association between e-cigarette use and self-reported clinical depression in a sample of 7,498 cancer survivors.

Results

Among cancer survivors in this study, 22.1% reported a history of clinical diagnosis of depression. The overall prevalence rates for current and former e-cigarette use were 2.6% and 10.5%, respectively. Analysis showed 51.3% of current users, 40% of former users, and 19.1% of those who had never used e-cigarettes self-reported a history of clinical depression. In the multivariable analysis, the odds of self-reported clinical depression were significantly higher for survivors who were current users (OR = 2.85; 95% CI: 1.38–5.90) and former users (OR = 1.63; 95% CI: 1.05–2.55) compared to never e-cigarette users.

Conclusion

Findings from this study suggest a statistically significant association between e-cigarette use and depression in cancer survivors. Future studies should focus on examining the longitudinal association between e-cigarette use and depression in cancer survivors.

Implications for Cancer Survivors

Study findings reemphasized the need for interventions to support cancer survivors with evidence-based treatments for depression as well as the need for clinicians to screen for psychological distress and/or e-cigarette use and make appropriate recommendations.

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Fig. 1

Data availability

The data for this study is publicly available at https://www.cdc.gov/brfss/index.html.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

Conceptualization and design: Godfred Antwi and Darson Rhodes.

Data preparation and analysis: Godfred Antwi.

Interpretation of data: Godfred Antwi and Darson Rhodes.

Manuscript writing: Godfred Antwi and Darson Rhodes.

Manuscript editing and review: Godfred Antwi and Darson Rhodes.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Godfred O. Antwi.

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This study was deemed exempt for review by the Institutional Review Board at SUNY Brockport.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Antwi, G.O., Rhodes, D.L. Association between e-cigarette use and depression in US cancer survivors: a cross-sectional study. J Cancer Surviv (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11764-022-01176-1

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Keywords

  • Cancer survivors
  • Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)
  • Depression
  • Nicotine