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Nord J Psychiatry. 2011 Feb;65(1):3-8. doi: 10.3109/08039481003786386. Epub 2010 Apr 29.

A prospective study of smoking in young women and risk of later psychiatric hospitalization.

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Department of Psychiatry, Amager Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark.



It is not known whether smoking is a risk factor for mental disorders.


To investigate the prospective associations between cigarette smoking in pregnant women and a range of psychiatric hospital diagnoses.


Using data from the Copenhagen Perinatal Cohort, we followed a cohort of 7926 young women from 1959-61 to 2007, linking data on cigarette smoking with psychiatric admission diagnoses obtained from the Danish Psychiatric Central Register. The women were interviewed by a physician in 1959-61 when data was obtained on smoking and other health related variables. With adjustment for age, social class and psychopharmacological treatment at baseline, the effects of smoking on the risk of (hierarchically ordered) major categories of mental disorders were examined.


Significant positive associations were observed between number of cigarettes smoked and schizophrenia spectrum disorder, substance use-related disorder, a broad category of other non-psychotic disorders, and any psychiatric registration. For affective spectrum disorders, there was a significant, but non-linear association.


Number of cigarettes smoked in young adulthood significantly predicted a range of psychiatric admission diagnoses and, for most diagnostic categories, evidence of a dose-response relationship was observed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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