The British Journal of Psychiatry
Smoking and malignancy in schizophrenia.
E Masterson, B O'Shea

Abstract

It has been suggested that schizophrenic patients have a lower risk of cancer than the general population. We therefore investigated the smoking patterns of 100 current chronic schizophrenic in-patients, and the causes of death in 122 recently deceased schizophrenics. We found that schizophrenics are heavy smokers, and that schizophrenics do die from carcinoma of the bronchus. Proportional mortality rates for all malignancies were not significantly lower in schizophrenics than in the general population but there was a significant absence of cancer of the gastro-intestinal tract. Proportional mortality rates for female mammary carcinoma, pneumonia, and suicide were raised, and that for cerebrovascular disease was low. These differences between schizophrenics and the general population warrant further investigation.