Obese Teen Girls Have Higher Nicotine Addiction Risk

Family smoking is strongest predictor of nicotine addiction in obese adolescent girls

FRIDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Obese adolescent females have a significantly increased risk of nicotine addiction in young adulthood, which is strongly predicted by family smoking, according to a study published online June 21 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Aliya Esmail Hussaini, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues investigated the association between adolescent obesity in young females and high-level nicotine addiction. The sample for the study was drawn from the three waves of nationally representative school-based and in-home surveys of students (7th to 12th grade) conducted by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Multivariate linear and logistic regression analyses were performed on data from more than 4,000 respondents to evaluate the correlation between obesity and the level of nicotine addiction, and to assess likely mediation effects of the correlation.

The investigators found that the risk of the highest level of nicotine addiction more than doubled in obese young females after adjusting for baseline smoking, parent and friend smoking, and demographic factors (odds ratio [OR], 2.12). This correlation was partially and significantly mediated by grade point average (OR, 0.48). The strongest predictor of nicotine addiction was family smoking (OR, 4.72).

"Obese, adolescent females are at increased risk for high-level nicotine addiction in young adulthood as compared with their nonobese peers," the authors write.

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