Background: Tobacco use is common in patients with schizophrenia (SZ) but little is known on the role of tobacco in the physiopathology or on the course of the disease. Only few studies embrace an extensive examination of clinical and therapeutic characteristics in stabilized patients. The objective of the present study was to determine the prevalence of tobacco smoking in stabilized SZ outpatients and the clinical and treatment characteristics associated with daily tobacco use in a large community-dwelling sample of patients.
Methods: Three-hundred-and-sixty-one patients were included in the network of the FondaMental Expert Centers for Schizophrenia. Current tobacco status was self-declared.
Results: 53.7% were smokers. Mean age at tobacco onset was 17.2years old. In multivariate analyses, after adjustment for confounding factors, positive symptoms and mean daily antipsychotic dose were associated with a higher frequency of tobacco use (OR=1.06 95%IC[1.02-1.12], for positive symptoms, OR=1.1, 95%IC[1.02-1.18] for daily antipsychotic dose). Education level, negative symptoms, anticholinergic agents, clozapine or aripiprazole administration were independently associated with a lower frequency of tobacco use (respectively OR=0.87, 95%IC [0.79, 0.95], OR=0.95, 95%IC[0.91-0.98], OR=0.41, 95%IC[0.22-0.76], OR=0.56, 95%IC=[0.32, 0.99] and OR=0.49, 95%IC [0.26-0.91]).
Conclusion: The prevalence of current tobacco smoking in a French community-dwelling SZ patients is higher that observed in the general population. Patients with tobacco use present clinical and therapeutic specificities that may involve interaction between cholinergic-nicotinic and dopaminergic systems. The present study suggests that some therapeutics may improve daily smoking behavior in smokers. These results should be confirmed in longitudinal studies.
Keywords: Antipsychotics; Neurological side effects; Schizophrenia; Tobacco; Treatment.
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