OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the association between secondhand smoke exposure (SHSE) and mental health problems among Korean adults.
METHODS: We analyzed data from the 2011 Korean Community Health Survey. From the total of 229,226 participants aged 19 years or above, we excluded 48,679 current smokers, 36,612 former smokers, 3,036 participants with a history of stroke, 2,264 participants with a history of myocardial infarction, 14,115 participants who experienced at least one day in bed per month due to disability, and 855 participants for whom information regarding SHSE or mental health problems was not available. The final analysis was performed with 22,818 men and 100,847 women. Participants were classified into four groups according to the duration of SHSE: none, <1 hr/d, 1-<3 hr/d, and ≥3 hr/d. The presence of depressive symptoms, diagnosed depression, and high stress were measured by questionnaire.
RESULTS: After adjusting for demographic factors, lifestyle, and chronic disease, the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of depressive symptoms with 1-<3 hr/d and ≥3 hr/d SHSE were 1.44 (95% CI, 1.14 to 1.82) and 1.59 (95% CI, 1.46 to 1.74), respectively. However, SHSE ≥3 hr/d had a higher OR of 1.37 (95% CI, 1.20 to 1.58) for diagnosed depression. SHSE was also associated with high stress (1-<3 hr/d: OR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.38 to 1.76; ≥3 hr/d: OR, 1.33 95% CI, 1.28 to 1.40). However, the association between SHSE and symptoms of depression and stress did not differ significantly by region.
CONCLUSIONS: SHSE may be associated with mental health problems such as depression and stress in Korean adults.
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