Poor maternal care and high maternal body mass index in pregnancy as a risk factor for schizophrenia in offspring.Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2004 Oct; 110(4):257-63.AP
We investigated whether antenatal factors in mothers would increase the risk of schizophrenia in the offspring, and also examined any relationship between these factors and histories of obstetric complications (OCs).
Using the Mother and Child Health Handbooks of 52 patients with schizophrenia and 284 healthy subjects, we evaluated the risk-increasing effects of the frequency of antenatal care visits and mothers' body mass index (BMI) at both early and late pregnancy.
In logistic regression analysis, there was a significant association between the number of antenatal care visits and the risk of the disorder; an increase in a unit of visits corresponds to a reduction of the risk by 12%. We also found a 24% increase in the risk with a one-unit increase of BMI at the early pregnancy, and a 19% increase at the late pregnancy. These antenatal factors were found to contribute, in part, to an excess of OCs in individuals with schizophrenia.
Poor maternal care during pregnancy and comparatively high maternal BMI especially at early pregnancy may cause a predisposition to schizophrenia in the offspring.