Context Cigarette smoking is associated with some anxiety disorders, but the
direction of the association between smoking and specific anxiety disorders
has not been determined.
Objective To investigate the longitudinal association between cigarette smoking
and anxiety disorders among adolescents and young adults.
Design The Children in the Community Study, a prospective longitudinal investigation.
Setting and Participants Community-based sample of 688 youths (51% female) from upstate New York
interviewed in the years 1985-1986, at a mean age of 16 years, and in the
years 1991-1993, at a mean age of 22 years.
Main Outcome Measure Participant cigarette smoking and psychiatric disorders in adolescence
and early adulthood, measured by age-appropriate versions of the Diagnostic
Interview Schedule for Children.
Results Heavy cigarette smoking (≥20 cigarettes/d) during adolescence was
associated with higher risk of agoraphobia (10.3% vs 1.8%; odds ratio [OR],
6.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.53-30.17), generalized anxiety disorder
(20.5% vs 3.71%; OR, 5.53; 95% CI, 1.84-16.66), and panic disorder (7.7% vs
0.6%; OR, 15.58; 95% CI, 2.31-105.14) during early adulthood after controlling
for age, sex, difficult childhood temperament; alcohol and drug use, anxiety,
and depressive disorders during adolescence; and parental smoking, educational
level, and psychopathology. Anxiety disorders during adolescence were not
significantly associated with chronic cigarette smoking during early adulthood.
Fourteen percent and 15% of participants with and without anxiety during adolescence,
respectively, smoked at least 20 cigarettes per day during early adulthood
(OR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.36-2.14).
Conclusion Our results suggest that cigarette smoking may increase risk of certain
anxiety disorders during late adolescence and early adulthood.