Smoking and serum lipid profiles in schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is associated with a high prevalence of cigarette-smoking and abnormal lipid profiles. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the profiles differ between schizophrenic smokers and non-smokers and whether the lipid profiles are related to psychopathological symptoms. Serum lipid profiles were measured in 130 male inpatients with DSM-IV-defined schizophrenia: 104 smokers and 26 non-smokers. Symptoms were assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Our results showed that positive PANSS symptoms were fewer in smokers than in non-smokers, while the negative symptoms were fewer in those who smoked more cigarettes. Total protein and globulin levels were significantly lower in the smokers than in the non-smokers. However, there was no significant difference in total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein A1, or apolipoprotein B between the smokers and non-smokers. However, the PANSS positive subscale had a significant negative correlation with the HDL-c levels (a protective factor) in the smokers but not in the non-smokers. Our findings suggest that schizophrenic patients who smoke have fewer psychotic symptoms, but contrary to expectation, smoking does not alter lipid profile levels.