Peptide YY and ghrelin predict craving and risk for relapse in abstinent smokers

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24 Scopus citations


Appetite hormones are directly involved in regulating satiety, energy expenditure, and food intake, and accumulating evidence suggests their involvement in regulating reward and craving for drugs. This study investigated the ability of peptide YY (PYY) and ghrelin during the initial 24-48. h of a smoking cessation attempt to predict smoking relapse at 4 weeks. Multiple regression analysis indicated that increased PYY was associated with decreased reported craving and increased positive affect. Cox proportional hazard models showed that higher ghrelin levels predicted increased risk of smoking relapse (hazard ratio = 2.06, 95% CI = 1.30-3.27). These results indicate that circulating PYY may have buffering effects during the early stages of cessation while ghrelin may confer increased risk of smoking relapse. Further investigation of the links between these hormones and nicotine dependence is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-259
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by National Institutes of Health grants R01DA016351 and R01DA027232 .


  • Craving
  • Ghrelin
  • Nicotine dependence
  • Peptide YY
  • Relapse
  • Withdrawal

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