Obstetric complications and schizophrenia: a case control study based on standardised obstetric records.
Kendell RE., Juszczak E., Cole SK.
BACKGROUND: There have been many reports of a higher incidence of 'obstetric complications' in the histories of schizophrenics than of controls, but because of the methodological shortcomings of most of these comparisons the relationship remains controversial. METHOD: Comprehensive records covering all psychiatric hospital admissions and all hospital deliveries in Scotland since 1971 made it possible to identify the obstetric records of people born in 1971-74 who were subsequently admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, and then to compare their standardised obstetric records with those of closely matched controls. RESULTS: One hundred and fifteen schizophrenic/control pairs were compared. The former showed a highly significant (P < 0.001) excess of complications of both pregnancy and delivery. In particular, there was a significant excess of pre-eclampsia (10 v. 2) and of infants detained in hospital for neonatal care (18 v. 6). CONCLUSION: The raised incidence of obstetric complications often reported in people with schizophrenia is genuine and probably contributes to the aetiology of the condition.