Adult Smokers With Mental Illness Consume the Most Caffeine in the U.S

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ngd- I remember that!!! Best guess on cigaretes is that symptoms increase during withdrawal, which starts 45 minutes after your last one. Coffee is probably to counter medication effects…

Summary: Not only do adult smokers with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder consume the most caffeine, but they are also most at risk of adverse health effects.

Source: Rutgers University

Americans are drinking more caffeinated beverages than ever before, but Rutgers researchers found one group that tops the charts in caffeine consumption: adult smokers with mental illness.

In a study published online ahead of print in the January issue of the journal Psychiatry Research, Jill M. Williams, director of the division of addiction psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, found not only do adult smokers with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia drink the most caffeine, they are at the highest risk of negative health consequences.

“Caffeine is generally considered safe and even has some health benefits,” said Williams. “But we just don’t understand the cognitive and psychiatric effects of high caffeine intake, especially among smokers with mental illness.”

Caffeine is one of the most widely used psychoactive drugs in the United States, with the main effects increased alertness, attention and vigilance. While it’s considered safe for most healthy adults to consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day – the equivalent of about four cups of brewed coffee – consuming more than 600 milligrams isn’t recommended and can lead to anxiety, insomnia, excess stomach acid and heartburn.

Little is known about caffeine’s influence on executive functions, such as reasoning and decision making, and the studies that have been done have mostly included healthy adults without mental illness, Williams said. Even less is known about how high caffeine intake may impact psychiatric symptoms or sleep in adults with serious mental illness who smoke.

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