Introduction: Globally, persons with HIV infection, depression and substance use disorders have a higher smoking prevalence and smoke more heavily than other populations. These associations have not been explored among Russian smokers with HIV infection and substance use disorders. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the presence of depressive symptoms and smoking outcomes in an HIV-positive cohort of Russian smokers with a history of substance use disorders (alcohol and/or drug use disorders).
Methods: We performed a cross-sectional secondary data analysis of a cohort of HIV-positive regular smokers with a history of substance use disorders recruited in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2012-2015. The primary outcome was heavy smoking, defined as smoking > 20 cigarettes per day. Nicotine dependence (moderate-very high) was a secondary outcome. The main independent variable was a high level of depressive symptoms in the past 7 days (defined as CES-D > = 24). We used multivariable logistic regression to examine associations between depressive symptoms and the outcomes, controlling for age, sex, education, income, running out of money for housing/food, injection drug use, and alcohol use measured by the AUDIT.
Results: Among 309 regular smokers, 79 participants (25.6%) had high levels of depressive symptoms, and 65 participants (21.0%) were heavy smokers. High levels of depressive symptoms were not significantly associated with heavy smoking (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.50, 95% CI 0.78-2.89) or with moderate-very high levels of nicotine dependence (aOR 1.35, 95% CI 0.75-2.41).
Conclusions: This study did not detect an association between depressive symptoms and smoking outcomes among HIV-positive regular smokers in Russia.