Low prevalence of smoking in patients with autism spectrum disorders

S Bejerot, Lena Nylander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Psychiatric patients are significantly more often smokers than the general population, the only known exception being obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and catatonic schizophrenia. We have investigated nicotine use in subjects with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Ninety-five subjects (25 females and 70 males) consecutively diagnosed with any ASD and of normal intelligence were included in the study. Only 12.6% were smokers, compared with 19% in the general population and 47% in a control group of 161 outpatients diagnosed with schizophrenia or a schizophreniform disorder. The results suggest that smoking is rare among subjects with ASD, while the opposite was shown for schizophrenia. If replicated, this finding could suggest biological differences between non-catatonic schizophrenia and ASD, and support the theory of a biological link between ASD and a subtype of OCD, and between ASD and catatonic schizophrenia. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-182
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Psychiatry

Free keywords

  • smoking
  • autistic disorder
  • disorder
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • obsessive-compulsive personality
  • schizophrenia
  • catatonia
  • nicotine


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