Smoking Cessation May Result to Better Mental Health, Study Shows

It has been long recognized by medical experts that a person’s health may be put in danger due to cigarette smoking and this has been shown by the inclusion of a warning in cigarette packs and the proscription of smoking in public places. While these health dangers have mostly been associated with physical disorders such as lung cancer and other deadly illnesses, a new study has now reported that it is not only the physical aspect that may be affected, but may also include mental health.

A team of researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, led by Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, an assistant professor of psychiatry, carried out a study aimed at determining the link between cigarette smoking and mental health and two common addiction problems. Conducted three years apart, this was actually a two-part study done in the United States.

At least for the first part of the study, the participants were composed of 4,800 persons identified as daily smokers. Those who were classified as smokers in the initial group and who have quit the smoking were also part of the second survey.

The first part of the survey had results showing that participants accounting for 40 percent suffered mood disorder or anxiety or a history of these conditions. Subjects composing half of the group were reported to have alcohol problems while drug addiction was present in 24 percent of the total.

Of those who quit smoking, only 29 percent had mood disorders while their smoking counterparts had a higher 42 percent, based on the results of the second part of the study. For those who quit smoking, only 18 percent had alcohol problems compared to 28 percent of those who maintained their smoking habit. Perhaps the biggest reduction was on the area of drug problems with only five percent reported among the quitters while 16 percent of smokers faced the same troubles.

Significance of Study

As medical experts have long believed, these outcomes may support the link between smoking and mental disorders, alcohol problems, and drug addiction. The best indication for this was the reduction of the problems after the smoking habit was stopped three years earlier.

To Dr. Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, the lead investigator, this provides a very significant insight into the treatment of these mental health and addiction problems. Addressing cigarette smoking in the patients may greatly help clinicians in treating the mental disorders and the dependence on alcohol and drug, as suggested by the researchers.

The Dangers of Smoking

Clearly shown in this very recent study are the dangers of cigarette smoking. The link between smoking and breast cancer and women’s pelvic floor disorders was also reported by two different studies not too long ago. That smoking may greatly increase the risk of women acquiring urinary incontinence, a pelvic condition that affects an estimated 18 million American women, was concluded in one study.

The association of smoking and urinary incontinence has become a grave concern in light of the controversy involving vaginal mesh surgeries. Women suffering from urinary incontinence have been reported to sustain serious injuries after undergoing mesh sling procedures, surgical operations which were intended to treat their condition. Click here to learn more about this condition and the actions taken by injured women.



FDA Warns Consumers of Serious Complications Tied to Bladder Meshes

bladder mesh lawsuits

A surgical procedure that may involve the placement of bladder or surgical mesh devices are often advised to women with severe cases of pelvic organ prolapse (POP), a condition that occurs when the muscles and tissues supporting the pelvic organs weaken, causing the organs to shift from their position or descend to the vagina – and stress urinary incontinence (SUI), a urinary difficulty that results to uncontrollable urine leakages because of sudden pressure to the bladder, medical researchers say. However, these medical products have been reportedly linked to high incidence of complications in women, reportedly urging the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to accordingly issue public health warnings in 2008 and 2011.

The agency first issued a Public Health Notification to address more than 1,000 reports of adverse events it has received between 2005 and 2007.

With no signs of reduction, more reports of adverse events remained at the FDA’s doorstep, reaching up to 2,874 cases of injuries in women, purportedly stemming from faulty pelvic mesh implants used to address POP and SUI. Among 2,874 reports, 1,503 and 1,371 cases were consequently connected to the use of surgical mesh implants for POP and SUI repair.

Despite the constantly increasing rate of complaints, the safety advisory highlighted how these adverse events, albeit rarely-occurring, may lead to serious medical consequences. The latest safety communication, which was issued July of last year, only covers mesh devices inserted transvaginally in surgical procedures for POP repair. Within a two-year duration (2008-2010), a growing number of complaints have been reportedly received by the FDA, describing the tendency of surgical meshes to erode into vaginal tissues, resulting to increased discomfort, severe pelvic pain, pain during sexual contact, and even inability to sexual intercourse. Women are also held susceptible to injuries associated with a newfound complication referred to as mesh contraction or shrinkage.

Other injuries reported to the agency include organ perforations, bleeding, infection, and urinary problems. The use of bladder mesh devices may also hold patients vulnerable to another prolapse, neuro-muscular problems, and vaginal scarring which may only be addressed through further surgical procedures.  Major mesh device makers are reportedly facing legal challenges at hand with thousands of bladder mesh injury cases pending in courts across the US due to most of the aforementioned adverse effects.

Results from a previously conducted retrospective review by the FDA also reveal insufficient evidence that may support the effectiveness of mesh devices placed transvaginally for POP repair over conventional non-mesh treatments.