Does the association between depression and smoking vary by body mass index (BMI) category?

Rachel Widome, Jennifer A. Linde, Paul Rohde, Evette J. Ludman, Robert W. Jeffery, Gregory E. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore how weight might influence the relationship between depression and smoking. Methods: Data were obtained from a cross-sectional survey representative of women age 40-65 enrolled in Group Health Cooperative, a health plan serving members in Washington and northern Idaho (n = 4640). We examined the relationships between depression and smoking in normal weight, overweight, and obese women using weighted multiple logistic regression with both minimal and full adjustment. Results: Current depression was significantly associated with current smoking in obese women (adjusted odds ratio = 2.48, 95% confidence interval = 1.26-4.88) but not in underweight/normal or overweight women. Among ever smokers, obese women, but not other groups, were significantly less likely to have quit smoking in the past. Conclusions: In our preliminary study, the association between smoking and depression in middle-aged women appears to be limited to the obese subset and may stem from a lesser likelihood of obese ever smokers to have quit. This population represents an important target for preventive medicine efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-383
Number of pages4
JournalPreventive medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by NIH grant R01 MH068127 funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, Office of Behavioral Social Sciences Research. R. Widome was supported by center funding for the Healthy Youth Development Prevention Research Center from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cooperative agreement 1 U48 DP000063-02) and the National Cancer Institute Centers for Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (grant U54CA116849). This research was also supported in part by the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Grant DK50456 (Minnesota Obesity Center - MNOC). The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States government.


  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Tobacco use
  • Tobacco use cessation


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