JANSSEN SATELLITE SYMPOSIUM: Has anything changed with mortality in schizophrenia?

The talk was interesting and informative, where the presenters focused on the factors influencing the mortality of patients with schizophrenia (SZ). Previous research showed that SZ patients tend to live 15 years less than the general population, in which such lower life expectancy is found to be associated with the factors including cardiovascular disease, less physical exercise and suicide. However, recent research showed that 80% of the patients with psychosis, particularly those with SZ, are smokers. Thus, this suggested that smoking could be one of the main factors causing lower life expectancy in SZ. Regarding to the intervention in clinical settings, given that smoking can reduce the patients’ anxiety (at least in the short term)  it may be difficult for them to quit smoking without any assistance, hence the current emphasis on smoking cessation therapy support. An alternative method will be providing these patients with e-cigarettes, which is less harmful, as a substitute to assist them gradually quitting smoking. Although the general public (particularly the taxpayers) would argue if the cost of providing these patients with free e-cigarettes is reasonable, it is actually much cheaper than the cost of hospitalisation from smoking-related diseases (e.g., lungs cancer).

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