High rates of smoking have been linked to more serious outcomes related to coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS, and preliminary evidence from China indicates this is most likely the case for COVID-19 as well. The prevalence of smoking among patients with schizophrenia is much higher than the general population and thus they may be a high-risk population to suffer severe and disproportionate morbidity and mortality from COVID-19.
This study aims to recruit a sample of patients with a schizophrenia spectrum illness and to follow their outcomes prospectively for a period of one year. Participants will be asked to provide information about their physical health including COVID-19 related questions, about smoking habits and mental health symptoms. This study offers us the unique opportunity to better understand the morbidity and mortality related to COVID-19 in a high-risk population of patients with schizophrenia, and the risks linking cigarette smoking to outcome of COVID-19 infection.
Over the phone or in-person at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre
Dr. David Attwood