A recent study published in the Lancet Psychiatry has shown that smoking cigarettes appears to modestly increase an individual’s risk of developing schizophrenia in later life.
This study by researchers at King’s College in London analyzed data from 61 observational studies that included 15, 000 smokers and 273, 000 non-smokers. Here 57% of individuals displaying a first episode of psychosis were indeed smokers, three times the rate of the general population.
Moreover, for daily smokers the onset of this condition occurred (on average) a year earlier than for non-smokers. Although more research is needed before a definite causal link can be determined, this study suggests that smoking should be taken seriously as a possible risk factor for developing psychosis.
Extract of article completed by Dr. Bianca Thomas (University of Johannesburg)
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