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Are obstetric complications related to adult schizophrenia? A case-control study

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Amore M, Pisani F, Balista C, Sarchiapone M, McCreadie R. Are obstetric complications related to adult schizophrenia? A case-control study. Background: 

Early environmental events may be relevant to the etiology of schizophrenia. Among such events, interest has focused especially on obstetric complications (OCs). Objective: 

Aims of the study were to compare the incidence of OCs in patients, siblings and normal controls and to examine the relationship between OCs and later schizophrenia. Method: 

One hundred and thirteen patients with schizophrenia were recruited, as were 140 patients’ siblings and 113 controls without schizophrenia. The OCs history of patients, their sibs and controls was obtained through interviews with patients’ and controls’ mothers. Results: 

The results highlighted that more patients than sibs had at least one definite OC and a higher mean number of OCs; more patients had premature rupture of membranes, threatened abortion and a labor of more than 36 h. Conclusions: 

Our data provide some evidence for a link between OCs and later schizophrenia. Furthermore, this study highlights how OCs, which may cause fetal distress through a hypoxic-ischemic mechanism, could increase the risk of schizophrenia interacting with genetic susceptibility.

Keywords: low birth-weight; mental disease; neurodevelopment; obstetric complications; premature rupture of membranes; preterm newborns; psychosis; threatened abortion

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Psychiatry, University of Parma, Italy 2: Department of Health Sciences, University of Molise, Italy 3: Department of Clinical Research, Crichton Royal Hospital, Dumfries, Scotland, UK

Publication date: December 1, 2007


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