The association of dehydroepiandrosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate with anxiety sensitivity and electronic diary negative affect among smokers with and without posttraumatic stress disorder.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with increased smoking initiation, maintenance, and relapse. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA sulfate (DHEAS) are neurosteroids that have been associated with mood measures as well as smoking status, and nicotine is associated with increased DHEA and DHEAS levels. Given the difficulties with mood experienced by smokers with PTSD, the purpose of the current study was to evaluate the association between negative affect and anxiety sensitivity with DHEA and DHEAS levels. Ninety-six smokers with and without PTSD provided blood samples for neurosteroid analyses and completed self-report measures of anxiety sensitivity and electronic diary ratings of negative affect. As expected, PTSD smokers reported higher levels of anxiety sensitivity (F(1,94) = 20.67, partial η2 = 0.18, P < 0.0001) and negative affect (F(1,91) = 7.98, partial η2 = 0.08, P = 0.006). After accounting for age and sex, DHEAS was significantly inversely associated with both anxiety sensitivity (F(3,92) = 6.97, partial η2 = 0.07, P = 0.01) and negative affect (F(3,87) = 10.52, partial η2 = 0.11, P = 0.002) across groups. Effect sizes indicated that these effects are moderate to high. No significant interactions of diagnosis and DHEA(S) levels with mood measures were detected. Given that nicotine is known to elevate DHEA(S) levels, these results suggest that DHEAS may serve as a biomarker of the association between mood and nicotine among smokers. Implications for the results include (1) the use of DHEAS measurement across time and across quit attempts and (2) the potential for careful use of DHEA supplementation to facilitate abstinence during smoking cessation.
Van Voorhees, EE; Dennis, MF; McClernon, FJ; Calhoun, PS; Buse, NA; Beckham, JC
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