Smoking and substance misuse adversely affect the outcome of pregnancy and psychiatric patients are known to smoke more than other patients. Data collected at the time of routine antenatal booking were analysed to investigate whether pregnant women with mental health problems smoke more than other pregnant women.
Data were collected from 156 women. Those with a psychiatric diagnosis (n=76) were significantly more likely to smoke (P<0.001). Associations were also found with illicit drug use and previous termination of pregnancy. The most common psychiatric diagnosis was depression (62%). A diagnosis of schizophrenia was not recorded for any of the women.
The strong association between smoking and psychiatric diagnosis results in an increased risk of obstetric complications in psychiatric patients. Anti-smoking interventions might be delivered by adequately trained midwives and opportunistically during contact with mental health professionals.
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