Keywords : schizophrenia

Nicotine Dependence among a Group of Iraqi Schizophrenic Patients

Twana Abdulrahman Rahim; Asma Subhe Muhyadin

Iraqi Postgraduate Medical Journal, 2011, Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 89-94

Substance dependence frequently co-occurs with psychiatric morbidities. Among substances, nicotine found to be the commonest substance of abuse among schizophrenic patients.
To assess the association of nicotine dependence with Schizophrenia.
112 schizophrenic patients and 374 non-schizophrenic patients were invited to answer a standard clinical/demographic questionnaire and a questionnaire on nicotine dependence (modified Fagerstrom Tolerance Questionnaire (mFTQ)).
The rate of nicotine dependence was significantly higher among schizophrenic patients (44.64%) than non-schizophrenic patients (23.52%) (P < 0.000). Male smokers outnumbered female smoker (P < 0.000) in both groups. Male gender was a significant predictor for smoking among both groups of patients (OR = 55.878; P = 0.000 for schizophrenic patients; OR = 9.489; P = 0.000 for non-schizophrenic patients). Increase in age was significant predictor for nicotine smoking in general (OR = 1.032; P = 0.001), and among the schizophrenic group (OR = 1.116; P = 0.000), whereas, it was not a significant predictor for nicotine smoking among non-schizophrenic patients (OR = 1.014; P = 0.185). Whole sample patients start nicotine smoking before their psychiatric disorders onset (3.3 and 7.7 years earlier respectively) (P = 0.01). Both groups were highly nicotine dependents (mean mFTQ = 9.92 for schizophrenic patients; mean mFTQ = 8.54 for non-schizophrenic patients) (P = 0.02).
The rate and severity of nicotine dependence were higher among patients with schizophrenia than non-schizophrenic patients. Gender and age were significant predictors for nicotine smoking in whole psychiatric patients. Both groups started their smoking habit before their psychiatric morbidity onsets.