Introduction Increasing evidence suggests that secondhand smoke exposure (SHSE) may affect not only physical health, but also mental health. Therefore, we evaluated the association between SHSE and depressive symptoms among Korean adolescents. Methods The JS High School Study enrolled 1071 high school freshmen from a rural community of South Korea. The current analysis was limited to 989 adolescents (495 male and 494 female adolescents), after excluding 48 ever-smokers, 3 students with physician-diagnosed depression, and 31 students who did not complete the depression questionnaire. SHSE was assessed using a self-reported questionnaire and was classified into three groups: none, occasional exposure, and regular exposure. Depressive symptoms were assessed according to the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) score, ranging from 0 to 63, and the presence of depressive symptoms was defined as a BDI score ≥10. Results Overall, adolescents with SHSE were more likely to have depressive symptoms than those without SHSE (p = 0.042).In a sex-specific analysis treating the BDI score as a continuous variable, regular SHSE was independently associated with higher BDI scores in male adolescents (β = 2.25, p = 0.026), but not in female adolescents (β = 1.11, p = 0.253). Compared to no SHSE, the odds ratio for having depressive symptoms among male adolescents with regular SHSE was 2.17 (95% confidence interval, 1.11 to 4.25) after adjusting for age, body mass index, and study year, and 3.65 (95% confidence interval, 1.52 to 8.73) after adjusting for age, body mass index, study year, exercise, and household income Conclusion Regular exposure to secondhand smoke was associated with having depressive symptoms among Korean male adolescents.
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© 2016 Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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