Women who smoke may be risking more than just damage to their bodies.

New Research suggests smoking cigarettes could lead to depression as well, Agence-France Presse reported.

The study, done by Australian researchers, found that women who smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day have almost double the risk of developing major depression compared to nonsmokers.

The researchers tracked healthy women for more than a decade, giving them a psychiatric assessment at the end, according to the report.

"It was at this point we were able to determine if depression had developed and investigate whether or not smoking pre-dated the onset of depression," said study leader Professor Julie Pasco, in a news release.

Another study of nearly 700 healthy women revealed 15 percent of smokers went on to develop depression, compared to 6.5 percent of nonsmokers, AAP reported.

In the United States, nearly 21 million women (18 percent) are smokers, The American Heart Association said on its Web Site.

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