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Ment Health Phys Act. 2013 Jun 1;6(2). doi: 10.1016/j.mhpa.2012.12.001.

Smoking Status and Exercise in relation to PTSD Symptoms: A Test among Trauma-Exposed Adults.

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University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Medical School - Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 2800 South MacGregor Way, Houston, TX 77021.


The present investigation examined the interactive effect of cigarette smoking status (i.e., regular smoking versus non-smoking) and weekly exercise (i.e., weekly metabolic equivalent) in terms of posttraumatic stress (PTSD) symptom severity among a community sample of trauma-exposed adults. Participants included 86 trauma-exposed adults (58.1% female; Mage = 24.3). Approximately 59.7% of participants reported regular (≥ 10 cigarettes per day) daily smoking over the past year. The interactive effect of smoking status by weekly exercise was significantly associated with hyperarousal and avoidance symptom cluster severity (p ≤ .05). These effects were evident above and beyond number of trauma types and gender, as well as the respective main effects of smoking status and weekly exercise. Follow-up tests indicated support for the moderating role of exercise on the association between smoking and PTSD symptoms, such that the highest levels of PTSD symptoms were observed among regular smokers reporting low weekly exercise levels. Theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed.


PTSD; cigarette smoking; exercise; trauma

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