Smokers with more severe nicotine dependence are more likely to gain weight when they try to quit, according to research published August 21 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Koji Hasegawa and colleagues from Kyoto Medical Center, Japan.
Even with nicotine replacement therapy, individuals can gain substantial amounts of weight when they quit smoking. Here, researchers studied weight gain patterns in individuals who successfully abstained from smoking after nicotine replacement therapy at a clinic. They found that higher scores on the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND), implying more severe dependence, correlated strongly with the amount of weight participants gained when they quit. Other factors that were significantly associated with post-smoking weight gain were higher serum triglycerides and lower HDL-cholesterol levels at the start of therapy and the number of cigarettes participants reported smoking each day. There was no significant difference in weight gain between patients who used nicotine patches and those that used the oral pill varenicline. Based on their results, the authors suggest that smokers with higher nicotine dependency may require interventions against weight gain in the cessation clinic.
Citation: Komiyama M, Wada H, Ura S, Yamakage H, Satoh-Asahara N, et al. (2013) Analysis of Factors That Determine Weight Gain during Smoking Cessation Therapy. PLoS ONE 8(8): e72010. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072010
Financial Disclosure: This work was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Clinical Research from the National Hospital Organization and the Pfizer Health Research Foundation (to KH). The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing Interest Statement: One drug studied in the work, varenicline, is manufactured by Pfizer. While funding was received from Pfizer Health Research Foundation, the authors confirm that this does not alter their adherence to all the PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.
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