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BACKGROUND: Most previous case-control studies of obstetric complications in schizophrenia have been small scale and many have relied on retrospective information. AIMS: To determine which obstetric complications are more common in probands with schizophrenia than matched controls. METHOD: Two hundred and ninety-six probands with an in-patient diagnosis of schizophrenia who had been born in Scotland in 1971-74, and a further 156 born in 1975-78, were closely matched with controls and the incidence of obstetric complications in the two compared using obstetric data recorded in a set format shortly after birth. RESULTS: Not a single complication of pregnancy or delivery was significantly more common in the probands with schizophrenia than the controls in the 1971-74 birth cohort and only emergency Caesarean section and labour lasting over 12 hours were significantly more common in the schizophrenia probands in the 1975-78 cohort. CONCLUSION: The evidence that schizophrenia is associated with a raised incidence of obstetric complications is weaker than has recently been assumed.


Journal article


Br J Psychiatry

Publication Date





516 - 522


Adolescent, Adult, Case-Control Studies, Cohort Studies, Female, Humans, Male, Obstetric Labor Complications, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Puerperal Disorders, Schizophrenia, Scotland