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Schizophrenia after prenatal exposure to the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944-1945.

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that first-trimester exposure to acute food deprivation is a risk factor for schizophrenia. A sharp and time-limited decline in the food intake of the Dutch population following a Nazi blockade in 1944 to 1945 created a unique if tragic natural experiment to test this hypothesis in three regions of Holland (west, north, and south). In the west, or famine region, birth cohorts exposed to severe food deprivation (an average daily ration under 4200 kJ) during the first trimester showed a substantial increase in hospitalized schizophrenia for women but not for men. Relative risks for women were 2.17 for "broad" and 2.56 for "restricted" schizophrenia. Moderate food deprivation during the first trimester (average daily ration under 6300 kJ) was not associated with increased risk of schizophrenia in the famine region. In the north and south regions, numbers were smaller and there was no exposure to severe famine. Birth cohorts exposed to moderate food deprivation during the first trimester showed a trend toward increased risk of schizophrenia for women. These findings give plausibility to the proposition that early prenatal nutrition can have a gender-specific effect on the risk of schizophrenia.

Authors+Show Affiliations

,

New York State Psychiatric Institute, NY 10032.

Source

Archives of general psychiatry 49:12 1992 Dec pg 983-8

MeSH

Female
Humans
Netherlands
Pregnancy
Pregnancy Trimester, First
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
Risk Factors
Schizophrenia
Seasons
Starvation
Warfare

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

1449385

Citation

Susser, E S., and S P. Lin. "Schizophrenia After Prenatal Exposure to the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944-1945." Archives of General Psychiatry, vol. 49, no. 12, 1992, pp. 983-8.
Susser ES, Lin SP. Schizophrenia after prenatal exposure to the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944-1945. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1992;49(12):983-8.
Susser, E. S., & Lin, S. P. (1992). Schizophrenia after prenatal exposure to the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944-1945. Archives of General Psychiatry, 49(12), pp. 983-8.
Susser ES, Lin SP. Schizophrenia After Prenatal Exposure to the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944-1945. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1992;49(12):983-8. PubMed PMID: 1449385.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Schizophrenia after prenatal exposure to the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944-1945. AU - Susser,E S, AU - Lin,S P, PY - 1992/12/1/pubmed PY - 1992/12/1/medline PY - 1992/12/1/entrez SP - 983 EP - 8 JF - Archives of general psychiatry JO - Arch. Gen. Psychiatry VL - 49 IS - 12 N2 - We tested the hypothesis that first-trimester exposure to acute food deprivation is a risk factor for schizophrenia. A sharp and time-limited decline in the food intake of the Dutch population following a Nazi blockade in 1944 to 1945 created a unique if tragic natural experiment to test this hypothesis in three regions of Holland (west, north, and south). In the west, or famine region, birth cohorts exposed to severe food deprivation (an average daily ration under 4200 kJ) during the first trimester showed a substantial increase in hospitalized schizophrenia for women but not for men. Relative risks for women were 2.17 for "broad" and 2.56 for "restricted" schizophrenia. Moderate food deprivation during the first trimester (average daily ration under 6300 kJ) was not associated with increased risk of schizophrenia in the famine region. In the north and south regions, numbers were smaller and there was no exposure to severe famine. Birth cohorts exposed to moderate food deprivation during the first trimester showed a trend toward increased risk of schizophrenia for women. These findings give plausibility to the proposition that early prenatal nutrition can have a gender-specific effect on the risk of schizophrenia. SN - 0003-990X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/1449385/Schizophrenia_after_prenatal_exposure_to_the_Dutch_Hunger_Winter_of_1944_1945_ L2 - http://www.diseaseinfosearch.org/result/6442 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -