Few studies have focused on the potential relationship between secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure and depressive symptoms. This study aimed to explore the potential association between SHS exposure and depressive symptoms and differentiate this association in setting-specific exposure and symptom-specific outcomes. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Guangdong province of China from September to December 2010 using a multistage sampling method to randomly sample adults aged 18 years and older. SHS exposure was defined as inhalation by non-smokers of the smoke exhaled from smokers for at least 1 day a week in the past 30 days. Depressive symptoms were measured using the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire. The zero-inflate negative binomial regression models were used to explore the associations between SHS exposure and depressive symptoms. A total of 2771 non-smokers were included in this study, with mean age of 49.6 ± 14.0 years and 70.3% of females. The prevalence of depressive symptoms was significantly higher in participants with SHS exposure than in those without exposure (incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 1.32, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.16–1.51), and there were similar positive associations for SHS exposure in medical facilities (IRR = 1.37, 95% CI 1.17–1.61) and in schools (IRR = 1.46, 95% CI 1.20–1.77). Notably, there was a monotonically increasing dose-response relationship between frequency of SHS exposure and depressive symptoms. When differentiating this relationship by the dimensions of depressive symptoms, there were similar dose-response relationships for cognitive-affective and somatic symptoms. When differentiating this relationship by sex, only females showed a significant dose-response relationship. Our findings suggest dose-response relationships between SHS exposure and depressive symptoms in sex-specific and symptom-specific manners. Future longitudinal studies are needed to establish the biological mechanisms of the impact of SHS exposure.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited