Exploring the relationships between tobacco smoking and schizophrenia in first-degree relatives

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Up to 90% of individuals with schizophrenia suffer from nicotine dependence. Both schizophrenia and nicotine consumption have strong genetic components, which may overlap. The relationship between schizophrenia and nicotine dependence remains unclear, due in part to confounding factors. Studies of the relationship between nicotine consumption and milder schizophrenia-related phenotypes, such as schizotypy, in first-degree relatives of individuals with schizophrenia could help to better understand the relationship between smoking and schizophrenia while avoiding such confounders. We assessed the proportion of smokers, their level of nicotine dependence and their level of schizotypy in a sample of 98 first-degree relatives of schizophrenic subjects and 110 healthy controls. Partial correlation analysis was used to assess the relationship between schizotypal dimensions and smoking dependence. The prevalence of smoking and nicotine dependence levels were higher in the relatives than in the healthy control group. We found no relationship between nicotine dependence and the magnitude of schizotypal features in either group. Our results support the hypothesis that the relationship between schizophrenia and smoking is largely mediated by common familial factors, which may be genetic. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.




Ferchiou, A., Szöke, A., Laguerre, A., Méary, A., Leboyer, M., & Schürhoff, F. (2012). Exploring the relationships between tobacco smoking and schizophrenia in first-degree relatives. Psychiatry Research, 200(2–3), 674–678. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2012.07.054

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