Nicotine dependence is associated with depression and childhood trauma in smokers with schizophrenia: results from the FACE-SZ dataset

Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2017 Sep;267(6):567-577. doi: 10.1007/s00406-017-0779-9. Epub 2017 Apr 7.


In a perspective of personalized care for smoking cessation, a better clinical characterization of smokers with schizophrenia (SZ) is needed. The objective of this study was to determine the clinical characteristics of SZ smokers with severe nicotine (NIC) dependence. 240 stabilized community-dwelling SZ smokers (mean age = 31.9 years, 80.4% male gender) were consecutively included in the network of the FondaMental Expert Centers for Schizophrenia and assessed with validated scales. Severe NIC dependence was defined by a Fagerstrom questionnaire score ≥ 7. Depression was defined by a Calgary score ≥ 6. Childhood trauma was self-reported by the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire score (CTQ). Ongoing psychotropic treatment was recorded. Severe NIC dependence was identified in 83 subjects (34.6%), depression in 60 (26.3%). 44 (22.3%) subjects were treated by antidepressants. In a multivariate model, severe NIC dependence remained associated with depression (OR = 3.2, p = 0.006), male gender (OR = 4.5, p = 0.009) and more slightly with childhood trauma (OR = 1.03, p = 0.044), independently of socio-demographic characteristics, psychotic symptoms severity, psychotropic treatments and alcohol disorder. NIC dependence was independently and strongly associated with, respectively, depression and male gender in schizophrenia, and only slightly with history of childhood trauma. Based on these results, the care of both nicotine dependence and depression should be evaluated for an effective smoking cessation intervention in schizophrenia.

Keywords: Childhood trauma; Depression; Nicotine dependence; Schizophrenia; Tobacco smoking.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adult Survivors of Child Adverse Events / statistics & numerical data*
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult