Cigarette smoking and gray matter brain volumes in middle age adults

the CARDIA Brain MRI sub-study

Martine Elbejjani, Reto Auer, David R Jacobs Jr, Thaddeus Haight, Christos Davatzikos, David C. Goff, R. Nick Bryan, Lenore J. Launer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cigarette smoking has been associated with dementia and dementia-related brain changes, notably gray matter (GM) volume atrophy. These associations are thought to reflect the co-morbidity of smoking and vascular, respiratory, and substance use/psychological conditions. However, the extent and localization of the smoking-GM relationship and the degree to which vascular, respiratory, and substance use/psychological factors influence this relationship remain unclear. In the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults CARDIA cohort (n = 698; 52% women; 40% black participants; age = 50.3 (SD = 3.5)), we examined the associations of smoking status with total GM volume and GM volume of brain regions linked to neurocognitive and addiction disorders. Linear regression models were used to adjust for vascular, respiratory, and substance use/psychological factors and to examine whether they modify the smoking-GM relationship. Compared to never-smokers, current smokers had smaller total GM volume (−8.86 cm 3 (95%CI = −13.44, −4.29). Adjustment for substance use/psychological – but not vascular or respiratory – factors substantially attenuated this association (coefficients = −5.54 (95% CI = −10.32, −0.76); −8.33 (95% CI = −12.94, −3.72); −7.69 (95% CI = −6.95, −4.21), respectively). There was an interaction between smoking and alcohol use such that among alcohol non-users, smoking was not related to GM volumes and among alcohol users, those who currently smoked had −12 cm 3 smaller total GM, specifically in the frontal and temporal lobes, amygdala, cingulate, and insula. Results suggest a large-magnitude association between smoking and smaller GM volume at middle age, accounting for vascular, respiratory, and substance use/psychological factors, and that the association was strongest in alcohol users. Regions suggested to be most vulnerable are those where cognition and addiction processes overlap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number78
JournalTranslational psychiatry
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

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Smoking
Brain
Blood Vessels
Psychology
Alcohols
Dementia
Linear Models
Gray Matter
Frontal Lobe
Temporal Lobe
Amygdala
Cognition
Atrophy
Young Adult
Coronary Vessels
Morbidity

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

Cite this

Cigarette smoking and gray matter brain volumes in middle age adults : the CARDIA Brain MRI sub-study. / Elbejjani, Martine; Auer, Reto; Jacobs Jr, David R; Haight, Thaddeus; Davatzikos, Christos; Goff, David C.; Bryan, R. Nick; Launer, Lenore J.

In: Translational psychiatry, Vol. 9, No. 1, 78, 01.12.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Elbejjani, Martine ; Auer, Reto ; Jacobs Jr, David R ; Haight, Thaddeus ; Davatzikos, Christos ; Goff, David C. ; Bryan, R. Nick ; Launer, Lenore J. / Cigarette smoking and gray matter brain volumes in middle age adults : the CARDIA Brain MRI sub-study. In: Translational psychiatry. 2019 ; Vol. 9, No. 1.
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abstract = "Cigarette smoking has been associated with dementia and dementia-related brain changes, notably gray matter (GM) volume atrophy. These associations are thought to reflect the co-morbidity of smoking and vascular, respiratory, and substance use/psychological conditions. However, the extent and localization of the smoking-GM relationship and the degree to which vascular, respiratory, and substance use/psychological factors influence this relationship remain unclear. In the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults CARDIA cohort (n = 698; 52{\%} women; 40{\%} black participants; age = 50.3 (SD = 3.5)), we examined the associations of smoking status with total GM volume and GM volume of brain regions linked to neurocognitive and addiction disorders. Linear regression models were used to adjust for vascular, respiratory, and substance use/psychological factors and to examine whether they modify the smoking-GM relationship. Compared to never-smokers, current smokers had smaller total GM volume (−8.86 cm 3 (95{\%}CI = −13.44, −4.29). Adjustment for substance use/psychological – but not vascular or respiratory – factors substantially attenuated this association (coefficients = −5.54 (95{\%} CI = −10.32, −0.76); −8.33 (95{\%} CI = −12.94, −3.72); −7.69 (95{\%} CI = −6.95, −4.21), respectively). There was an interaction between smoking and alcohol use such that among alcohol non-users, smoking was not related to GM volumes and among alcohol users, those who currently smoked had −12 cm 3 smaller total GM, specifically in the frontal and temporal lobes, amygdala, cingulate, and insula. Results suggest a large-magnitude association between smoking and smaller GM volume at middle age, accounting for vascular, respiratory, and substance use/psychological factors, and that the association was strongest in alcohol users. Regions suggested to be most vulnerable are those where cognition and addiction processes overlap.",
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