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Matern Child Health J. 2011 Dec;15 Suppl 1:S65-74. doi: 10.1007/s10995-011-0876-8.

Relationships between self-reported smoking, household environmental tobacco smoke exposure and depressive symptoms in a pregnant minority population.

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Statistics and Epidemiology Unit, Research Triangle Institute, RTI International, 701 13th Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20005, USA.


This study sought to examine relationships between depressive symptoms and prenatal smoking and/or household environmental tobacco smoke exposure (HH-ETSE) among urban minority women. We analyzed private, audio computer-assisted self interview data from a clinic-based sample of 929 minority pregnant women in Washington, DC. Depressive symptoms were assessed via the Beck Depression Inventory Fast Screen. HH-ETSE, current smoking, and former smoking were assessed via self-report. Depression levels and demographic characteristics were compared: (1) among nonsmokers, for those reporting HH-ETSE versus no HH-ETSE; and (2) among smokers, for those reporting current smoking (in last 7 days) versus former smokers. Measures associated with HH-ETSE/current smoking in bivariate analysis at P < 0.20 were included in adjusted logistic regression models. HH-ETSE, as a possible indicator of a social smoking network, was assessed as a mediator for the relationship between depression and current smoking.


Non-smokers reporting moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms showed significantly higher adjusted odds of prenatal HH-ETSE (AOR 2.5, 95% CI [1.2, 5.2]). Smokers reporting moderate-to-severe or mild depressive symptoms showed significantly higher adjusted odds of current smoking (AOR 1.9, 95% CI [1.1, 3.5] and AOR 1.8, 95% CI [1.1, 3.1], respectively). Among smokers, HH-ETSE was a significant mediator for the association between moderate-to-severe symptoms and current smoking. In conclusion, health care providers should be aware that depressed urban minority women are at risk of continued smoking/HH-ETSE during pregnancy. Interventions designed to encourage behavior change should include screening for depression, and build skills so that women are better able to address the social environment.


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