M.S.ANG1, N.A.ABDUL RASHID1, Y.M.SEE1, J.LEE1
Institute of Mental Health1
Smoking rates are higher in schizophrenia and was hypothesized as an attempt to self-medicate in a bid to reduce medication side effects and improve cognitive function. The present study investigated the association of smoking and clinical profiles in schizophrenia.
297 outpatients with schizophrenia completed the RAND-36 health survey, a health-related quality of life (HRQoL) measure which comprised physical health, mental health, and global health composite. Symptomatic remission status was determined using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Demographics, symptomatic remission and HRQoL of smokers, ex-smokers, and non-smokers were compared using ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis test, and Chi-square test.
Sixty-one (20.5%) were smokers, 50 (16.8%) were ex-smokers, 186 (62.6%) never smoked. Of the smokers, 55 (90.2%) smoked daily; 9 (14.8%) were heavy smokers. Non-smokers and ex-smokers had higher education than smokers, F(2, 294)=12.497, p<0.001. 26 (42.6%) smokers consumed alcohol, as opposed to 9 (18.0%) ex-smokers and 35 (18.8%) non-smoker, χ2(4)=57.810, p<0.001. Similar proportion of non-smoker (n=45, 45.0%), smokers (n=16, 48.5%) and ex-smokers (n=12, 50.0%) achieved symptomatic remission, χ2(2)=0.261, p=0.878. Smokers were prescribed higher doses of antipsychotics, H(2)=10.625, p=0.005, and had higher waist-hip ratios, F(2, 291)=6.319, p=0.002, than non-smokers. Smokers had significantly lower mental, F(2, 294)=3.452, p=0.033, physical, F(2, 291)=4.273, p=0.015, and global HRQoL, F(2, 291)=4.539, p=0.011, than non-smokers. Ex-smokers had lower antipsychotic dose, lower waist-hip ratios, and better HRQoL than smokers, but the differences were non-significant.
Smoking was associated with poorer HRQoL and central obesity, but not with remission status. Our study lends further weight to smoking cessation programs for people with schizophrenia.