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Smoking is associated with greater symptom load in bipolar disorder patients

Mohamedlatif Saiyad, MD

Mood Disorders Research Program, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY, USA

Rif S. El-Mallakh, MD

Mood Disorders Research Program, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY, USA

BACKGROUND: Individuals with mental illness have a higher prevalence of smoking than those without a mental illness. Nicotine has several effects on mood and cognition. After many studies, the nature of the effect of smoking on mental illness is not clear.

METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study of smoking status and symptom load in an outpatient bipolar disorder population. Data were collected and analyzed from 134 outpatients regarding smoking status and symptom profile and severity using the Rapid Psychiatric Interview Data scale.

RESULTS: Smokers had more severe anxiety symptoms (5.2 ± 7.6 vs 2.2 ± 3.3, z = 3.8, P = .0001), depressive symptoms (9.0 ± 9.6 vs 6.5 ± 8.1, z = 3.2, P = .0015), and manic symptoms (3.0 ± 4.2 vs 1.5 ± 2.9, z = 2.1, P = .04) than nonsmokers.

CONCLUSION: Smokers with bipolar disorder carry a greater symptom burden than nonsmokers. However, this is an associational study, and the true nature of the relationship is not clear.

KEYWORDS: anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, mania, smoking

ANNALS OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY 2012;24(4):305-309

CORRESPONDENCE: Rif S. El-Mallakh, MD, Mood Disorders Research Program, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisville School of Medicine, 501 E. Broadway, Suite 340, Louisville, KY 40202 USA E-MAIL: rselma01@louisville.edu
Annals of Clinical Psychiatry ©2012 Frontline Medical Communications.

 
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