The latest medical research on Addiction Medicine

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about addiction medicine gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Oral nicotine marketing claims in direct-mail advertising.

Tobacco Control

Little is known regarding how oral nicotine products (eg, nicotine pouches, lozenges) are marketed to consumers, including whether potential implicit reduced harm claims are used. In the current study, we explored the marketing claims present in a sample of direct-mail oral nicotine advertisements sent to US consumers (March 2018-August 2020).

Direct-mail ads (n=50) were acquired from Mintel and dual-coded for the following claims: alternative to other tobacco products, ability to use anywhere, spit-free, smoke-free and product does not contain tobacco leaf. We merged the coded data with Mintel's volume estimate (number of mail pieces sent to consumers) and calculated the proportion of oral nicotine advertisements containing claims by category.

Of the 38 million pieces of oral nicotine direct-mail sent to US consumers, most featured claims that the product could be used anywhere (84%, 31.8 million pieces); was an alternative to other tobacco products (69%, 26.1 million pieces); and did not contain tobacco leaf (eg, 'tobacco leaf-free', 'simple' approach of extracting nicotine from tobacco; 55%, 20.7 million pieces). A slightly smaller proportion contained claims that oral nicotine was 'spit-free' (52%, 19.8 million pieces) or 'smoke-free' (31%, 11.7 million pieces).

Our results provide an early indication of marketing claims used to promote oral nicotine. The strategies documented, particularly the use of language to highlight oral nicotine is tobacco-free, may covey these products as lower-risk to consumers despite the lack of evidence or proper federal authorisation that oral nicotine products are a modified-risk tobacco product. Future research is needed to examine consumer perceptions of such claims.

Framework for the public health assessment of electronic cigarettes.

Tobacco Control

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are relatively new products with substantial public health impacts. Evidence on their effects is diverse and emerging rapidly, presenting challenges to high-quality policymaking and decision-making. This paper addresses these challenges by developing and presenting a framework for the public health assessment of e-cigarettes, using the Australian context as an example.

Framework development involved stakeholder engagement, development of guiding principles, and consideration of existing relevant frameworks and the evidence requirements of current policy options, identified in published and grey literature.

Guiding principles include the need for the framework to: be evidence based; include consideration of the likely balance of benefits and risks of e-cigarettes, uncertainty and safety; support equity; support the ongoing application of evidence to high-quality policy and practice; and consider potential competing interests. The framework draws upon: health technology assessment; health impact assessment; environmental health risk assessment; healthcare recommendations evidence evaluation; consumer goods regulation; medicine and chemical scheduling; tobacco product evaluation; previous reviews and the precautionary principle. Final framework components are: (1) characterisation of products under consideration; (2) definition of populations of interest; (3) characterisation of tobacco smoking, control and impacts on health and well-being; (4) review of evidence on patterns of e-cigarette use; (5) review of evidence on e-cigarette use and health outcomes; (6) assessment of likely risks, benefits and safety; (7) identification and assessment of policy options to optimise health outcomes.

Structured and ongoing public health assessment of e-cigarette use is likely to support health through enhancing evidence-based decision-making.

Adaptive, behavioral intervention impact on weight gain, physical activity, energy intake, and motivational determinants: results of a feasibility trial in pregnant women with overweight/obesity.

Behavioral Medicine

Interventions have modest impact on reducing excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) in pregnant women with overweight/obesity. This two-arm feasib...

The neural correlates of delay discounting in obesity and binge eating disorder.

Behavioral Addiction

Increased delay discounting is associated with obesity and binge eating disorder (BED). Although BED and obesity frequently co-occur, the neural mechanisms underlying delay discounting in these conditions remain poorly understood.

Thirtyfive women with obesity, including 10 participants with obesity and BED and 31 controls completed a monetary delay discounting task during functional magnetic resonance imaging.

We identified that increased discounting rates were associated with decreased activity in the left anterior insula in participants with obesity compared to controls when choosing immediate rewards over delayed rewards (PFWE < 0.05). An exploratory analysis comparing the BED subsample to the other groups did not detect significant differences.

Our findings suggest decreased activity in the anterior insula may underlie heightened delay discounting in individuals with obesity, contributing the probability of choosing immediate rewards over delayed rewards based on emotional states. Future studies including larger, more diverse samples are required to confirm these effects.

Paying lip service to publication ethics: scientific publishing practices and the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.

Tobacco Control

Litigation forced the dissolution of three major tobacco industry-funded organisations because of their egregious role in spreading scientific misi...

Cardiovascular response to physical exercise and the risk of Internet addiction in 15-16-year-old adolescents.

Behavioral Addiction

Subjective symptoms of Internet addiction (IA), such as interpersonal and health-related problems (IH-RP), do not correlate with objective physiological parameters. This study aimed to investigate the cardiovascular reactivity after physical exercise in 15-16-year-old adolescents showing different severities of symptoms of health-related problems due to Internet overuse.

This study included 20 healthy adolescents (boys, 15-16 years) with different risks of IA (by the Chen internet addiction scale [CIAS]). The physical exercise test was to perform a standing broad jump three times. The arterial blood pressures and heart rates were recorded before, immediately after, and at 4 minutes of rest after exercise.

The total sample of adolescents was divided into two groups, that is, those with IH-RP scores of 12 or less (Group I, n = 12) and those scoring more than 12 points (Group II, n = 8). The diastolic blood pressure significantly increased after exercise in group II, whereas it remained stable in group I. The heart rate in group I tended to increase, but the changes were not statistically significant. Group II adolescents showed significant increases in heart rate, and at rest, this parameter was significantly higher than the baseline value.

Adolescents with a risk of IA and severe symptoms of interpersonal and health-related problems had increased sympathetic activity during and after speed-strength physical exercise compared to those without the aforementioned symptoms.

Distress-driven impulsivity interacts with cognitive inflexibility to determine addiction-like eating.

Behavioral Addiction

Researchers are only just beginning to understand the neurocognitive drivers of addiction-like eating behaviours, a highly distressing and relatively common condition. Two constructs have been consistently linked to addiction-like eating: distress-driven impulsivity and cognitive inflexibility. Despite a large body of addiction research showing that impulsivity-related traits can interact with other risk markers to result in an especially heightened risk for addictive behaviours, no study to date has examined how distress-driven impulsivity interacts with cognitive inflexibility in relation to addiction-like eating behaviours. The current study examines the interactive contribution of distress-driven impulsivity and cognitive inflexibility to addiction-like eating behaviours.

One hundred and thirty-one participants [mean age 21 years (SD = 2.3), 61.8% female] completed the modified Yale Food Addiction Scale, the S-UPPS-P impulsivity scale, and a cognitive flexibility task. A bootstrap method was used to examine the associations between distress-driven impulsivity, cognitive inflexibility, and their interaction with addiction-like eating behaviours.

There was a significant interaction effect between distress-driven impulsivity and cognitive flexibility (P = 0.03). The follow-up test revealed that higher distress-driven impulsivity was associated with more addiction-like eating behaviours among participants classified as cognitively inflexible only.

The current findings shed light on the mechanisms underlying addiction-like eating behaviours, including how traits and cognition might interact to drive them. The findings also suggest that interventions that directly address distress-driven impulsivity and cognitive inflexibility might be effective in reducing risk for addiction-like eating and related disorders.

Multidimensional family therapy reduces problematic gaming in adolescents: A randomised controlled trial.

Behavioral Addiction

Social variables including parental and family factors may serve as risk factors for Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) in adolescents. An IGD treatment programme should address these factors. We assessed two family therapies - multidimensional family therapy (MDFT) and family therapy as usual (FTAU) - on their impact on the prevalence of IGD and IGD symptoms.

Eligible for this randomised controlled trial comparing MDFT (N = 12) with FTAU (N = 30) were adolescents of 12-19 years old meeting at least 5 of the 9 DSM-5 IGD criteria and with at least one parent willing to participate in the study. The youths were recruited from the Centre Phénix-Mail, which offers outpatient adolescent addiction care in Geneva. Assessments occurred at baseline and 6 and 12 months.

Both family therapies decreased the prevalence of IGD across the one-year period. Both therapies also lowered the number of IGD criteria met, with MDFT outperforming FTAU. There was no effect on the amount of time spent on gaming. At baseline, parents judged their child's gaming problems to be important whereas the adolescents thought these problems were minimal. This discrepancy in judgment diminished across the study period as parents became milder in rating problem severity. MDFT better retained families in treatment than FTAU.

Family therapy, especially MDFT, was effective in treating adolescent IGD. Improvements in family relationships may contribute to the treatment success. Our findings are promising but need to be replicated in larger study.

ISRCTN 11142726.

Caudate nucleus volume mediates the link between glutamatergic neurotransmission and problematic smartphone use in youth.

Behavioral Addiction

Problematic smartphone use (PSU) is growing rapidly among teens. It has similar presentations as other behavioral addictions in terms of excessive use, impulse control problems, and negative consequences. However, the underlying neurobiological mechanisms remain undiscovered. We hypothesized that structural changes in the striatum might serve as an important link between alteration in glutamate signaling and development of PSU.

Among 88 participants, twenty (F:M, 12:8; age 16.2 ± 1.1) reported high scores in the smartphone addiction proneness scale (SAPS) with a cut-off score of 42; the other 68 (F:M, 19:49; age 15.3 ± 1.7) comprised the control group. Sociodemographic data and depression, anxiety, and impulsivity traits were measured. Striatal volumes (caudate, putamen, and nucleus accumbens) were estimated from T1 imaging data. Serum glutamate levels were estimated from peripheral blood samples. Group comparisons of each data were performed after controlling for age and gender. Mediation analyses were conducted to test the indirect effects of glutamate level alteration on PSU through striatal volumetric alteration.

The PSU group showed a decrease in both caudate volumes than the control group. Left caudate volume was positively correlated with serum glutamate level, and negatively with impulsivity traits and SAPS scores. The mediation model revealed a significant indirect effect of serum glutamate on SAS scores through the reduced left caudate volume.

This study suggests that altered glutamatergic neurotransmission may be associated with PSU among teens, possibly through reduced left caudate volume. Current findings might support neural mechanisms of smartphone addiction.

When belongingness backfires: experienced discrimination predicts increased cardiometabolic risk among college students high in social belonging.

Behavioral Medicine

Research implicates experiences of discrimination in exacerbating cardiometabolic disease (CMD) risk. Belongingness has been suggested as a buffer ...

Secondhand smoke exposure and oral cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Tobacco Control

Inhalation of secondhand smoke (SHS) causes several diseases, including lung cancer. Tobacco smoking is a known cause of oral cancer; however, it has not been established whether SHS also causes oral cancer . The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential association between SHS exposure and the risk of oral cancer.

A systematic review and meta-analysis study (following the PRISMA guidelines) was developed to examine the studies reporting on the associations of SHS and the risk of oral cancer, employing a search strategy on electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, Cochrane Library, Open Grey, and ProQuest databases for dissertations) until 10 May 2020. Meta-analyses and sensitivity analyses were performed using random-effect models. The protocol was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42020189970).

Following the application of eligibility criteria, five studies were included, comprising a total of 1179 cases and 5798 controls, with 3452 individuals exposed and 3525 individuals not exposed to SHS. An overall OR of 1.51 (95% CI 1.2o to 1.91, p=0.0004) for oral cancer was observed, without significant heterogeneity (I2=0%, p=0.41). The duration of exposure of more than 10 or 15 years increased the risk of oral cancer (OR 2.07, 95% CI 1.54 to 2.79, p<0.00001), compared with non-exposed individuals, without significant heterogeneity (I2=0%, p=0.76).

This systematic review and meta-analysis supports a causal association between SHS exposure and oral cancer. Our results could provide guidance to public health professionals, researchers, and policymakers to further support effective SHS exposure prevention programs worldwide.

Gender differences in the relationship between social support and strain and mortality among a national sample of adults.

Behavioral Medicine

We assessed gender differences in the relationship between mortality and social support, strain, and affectual solidarity received from family, fri...