Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and tobacco smoking start in near same developmental life stages and are highly comorbid disorders. Little research has focused on this comorbidity and its correlates, especially in the Arab world. This study aimed to find the relation between tobacco smoking and ADHD symptoms and to understand how ADHD profile can affect its persistence.
Materials and Methods:
We recruited our sample from fifth year medical students attending their psychiatry undergraduate training program at the Institute of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University Hospitals, Cairo, Egypt. All attending students for 3 rounds were approached and asked to participate. All candidates were above 20 years old and from both sexes. For the purpose of this study, tobacco smoking included cigarettes, water pipe (sheesha), Cigar, and/or pipe smoking. All the participants were assessed using 1, General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28); 2, The Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS); 3, Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND); 4, Smoking Consequences Questionnaire-Adult (SCQ-A).
An overall 12.7% had symptoms of ADHD. Participants who were tobacco smokers and had symptoms of ADHD showed nicotine dependence scores higher than the non-ADHD symptom smokers. There was significant correlation between ASRS inattention and hyperactive-impulsive subscale scores and FTND scores (P=0.003 and 0.04), respectively. Moreover, there were statistically significant correlations between ASRS scores and smoking outcome variables with P-value of ≤0.00.
ADHD symptoms were correlated to adult tobacco smoking outcome variables, providing further evidence of a likely link between ADHD symptoms and tobacco smoking risk.