Modeling smoking-attributable mortality among adults with major depression in the United States

Jamie Tam, Gemma M. J. Taylor, Kara Zivin, Kenneth E. Warner, Rafael Meza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (SciVal)
33 Downloads (Pure)


Tobacco-related health disparities disproportionately affect smokers with major depression (MD). Although tobacco simulation models have been applied to general populations, to date they have not considered populations with a comorbid mental health condition. We developed and calibrated a simulation model of smoking and MD comorbidity for the US adult population using the 2005–2018 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. We use this model to evaluate trends in smoking prevalence, smoking-attributable mortality and life-years lost among adults with MD, and changes in smoking prevalence by mental health status from 2018 to 2060. The model integrates known interaction effects between smoking initiation and cessation, and MD onset and recurrence. We show that from 2018 to 2060, smoking prevalence will continue declining among those with current MD. In the absence of intervention, people with MD will be increasingly disproportionately affected by smoking compared to the general population; our model shows that the smoking prevalence ratio between those with current MD and those without a history of MD increases from 1.54 to 2.42 for men and from 1.81 to 2.73 for women during this time period. From 2018 to 2060, approximately 484,000 smoking-attributable deaths will occur among adults with current MD, leading to 11.3 million life-years lost. Ambitious tobacco control efforts could alter this trajectory. With aggressive public health efforts, up to 264,000 of those premature deaths could be avoided, translating into 7.5 million life years gained. This model can compare the relative health gains across different intervention strategies for smokers with MD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106241
JournalPreventive Medicine
Early online date27 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020


  • Depression
  • Major depression
  • Simulation model
  • Smoking
  • Systems dynamics
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling smoking-attributable mortality among adults with major depression in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this