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Tuesday, 8 January 2008

A STUDY PULLED OUT OF A HAT - UNE ÉTUDE SURPRISE ?

Selon ce que nous pouvons lire, l’étude qui suit a débuté en 1995 et a eu une durée de 3 ½ ans pour la version francophone et 4 ans pour la version anglophone des articles. Normalement et logiquement, elle aurait dû être prête pour publication en 2000.

Pourquoi est-ce qu’on nous brandit cette étude en 2008 ? Serait-ce que les compagnies pharmaceutiques nous sortent des études directement de leur boîte à surprises afin de contrecarrer la controverse sur leur produit chéri le Champix/Chantix ? Rappelons-nous que ce produit est soupçonné d'avoir comme effet secondaire des tendances suicidaires.

La question mérite d’être posée !

Lisez l’étude ici

L’article dans Cyberpresse :

Un lien entre tabagisme et risque de suicide

Agence France-Presse
Paris

Un lien inquiétant existerait entre tabagisme et risque de suicide, suggèrent des chercheurs allemands dans une étude publiée dans la revue spécialisée Journal of Affective Disorders.

Les avertissements bien connus figurant sur les paquets de cigarettes - «Fumer tue», «Fumer provoque le cancer»,... - pourraient-ils un jour s'enrichir du message «Fumer augmente le risque de suicide» ?

«Les campagnes contre le tabagisme devraient aussi souligner le risque élevé de pensées suicidaires pour les fumeurs occasionnels et réguliers», affirme l'équipe de chercheurs menée par Thomas Bronisch (Institut Max Planck de Psychiatrie, Munich).

Leurs travaux sont basés sur des données d'une étude psychologique lancée en 1995 parmi 3021 jeunes Munichois âgés de 14 à 24 ans, suivis pendant 3 ans et demi (2548 réponses à 42 mois).

Environ un quart de ces jeunes n'avaient jamais fumé. Les autres se partageaient entre fumeurs occasionnels (40%), fumeurs réguliers «non-dépendants» (17%) et fumeurs dépendants (19%).

Parmi les non-fumeurs, quelque 15% ont rapporté avoir eu des pensées suicidaires, définies comme avoir eu le projet de se tuer ou avoir souhaité mourir pendant deux semaines ou plus. Ce chiffre atteignait environ 20% chez les fumeurs occasionnels et fumeurs non-dépendants et 30% chez les fumeurs dépendants.

Le lien apparaît encore plus marqué lorsque l'on considère les tentatives de suicide (69).

Seulement 0,6% des non-fumeurs ont rapporté avoir tenté de mettre fin à leur vie, contre 1,6% pour les fumeurs non-dépendants et 6,4% pour les fumeurs dépendants.

De précédents travaux ont déjà suggéré une association entre suicide et tabagisme, sans résoudre la question de savoir si le tabagisme est la cause, ou juste un symptôme, du malaise.

Les chercheurs allemands ont reconnu que leurs travaux présentent plusieurs limites.

D'abord, pendant la durée de l'étude, aucun suicide n'a été enregistré et celle-ci repose donc sur les idées suicidaires et les tentatives de suicides, plutôt que sur l'acte lui-même. De plus, certains des participants étaient encore de jeunes adolescents et n'étaient pas sortis, à la fin de l'étude, d'une période considérée comme à risque de suicide chez les jeunes.



It is very hard to explain why in the midst of a controversy of the Champix/Chantix drug on the suicidal tendency side effects it has been suspected to cause, a study that would have started in 1995 and would have by all looks of it been completed by the year 2000 at the latest, would only be published now!

Not that the study is conclusive, by their own admission, it is however quite intriguing that this study is reported as news 8 whole years after its completion! Are we pulling studies out of the pharma hats as the need arises?

You can read an abstract of the study
here and the way the media reported it in the article below.

Smoking linked with risk of suicide: study

Tue Jan 8, 7:07 PM ET

PARIS (AFP) - "Smoking Kills" and "Smoking Causes Cancer" are the kind of health warnings that are familiar to millions of smokers. How about this one: "Smoking Boosts the Risk of Suicide"?

The idea is sketched by German researchers, who say an in-depth study among young people in Bavaria found a clear and alarming link between smoking and the desire to kill oneself.

The investigation, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, is based on data from a detailed psychology study launched in 1995 among 3,021 people aged 14-24 who lived in Munich.

They were interviewed again four years later, when 2,548 of the volunteers responded.
Around a quarter of these individuals had never smoked.

Of the rest, 40 percent were defined as occasional smokers, 17 percent as "non-dependent" regular smokers and 19 percent as addicted smokers.

Among non-smokers, nearly 15 percent, reported having had suicidal thoughts, defined as making plans to kill himself or herself or spending two weeks or longer with the wish to die.

The rate was around 20 percent among occasional and non-dependent smokers, but among dependent smokers, suicidal ideation was 30 percent.

An even more pronounced pattern was found among the 69 individuals who had actually tried to commit suicide.

Only 0.6 percent of the non-smokers said they had sought to end their life; among non-dependent smokers, the rate was 1.6 percent; but among addicted smokers, it was a whopping 6.4 percent.

To ensure that the results were not being skewed by other factors, the researchers stripped out alcohol use, illicit drug use and a history of depression among the volunteers.

They found the result was the same: the more a person smoked, the likelier he or she would have suicidal ideation.

"Campaigns for reducing smoking should also point to the elevated risk of suicidality for occasional and regular smokers," say the authors, led by Thomas Bronisch of the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich.

They acknowledge that there were several limitations to their study.
One was that in the four-year follow-up, no suicides actually occurred, so that the conclusions of the study are based on suicidal ideas and attempts rather than the completion of the act.

And because some of the volunteers were still in their early teens when the study was launched, they had not passed through a known risk period for suicide among young people by the time the study was over.

Previous investigations have likewise seen an association between suicide and smoking but also left unsettled the big question as to whether smoking causes the malaise or is just a symptom of it.

Some research suggests that nicotine depletes a vital pleasure-giving brain chemical called serotonin, and the risk could be higher among individuals with a genetic susceptibility to this effect.

Other studies, though, have suggested there are underlying personality characteristics such as impulsiveness, aggression and neuroticism that predispose a person to smoking and to suicide.

Meanwhile, other research has suggested that tobacco smoke may contain antidepressant compounds that may encourage depressed individuals to smoke.

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