Thursday, December 22, 2011

High Birth Weight May Be Linked to Schizophrenia

Big babies may share an increased risk of eventually developing schizophrenia. Researchers in Finland investigated the link between birth weight and schizophrenia in a large schizophrenia family study sample. They used the birth-weight data of 1,051 offspring from 315 Finnish families with at least one offspring with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. "Infants with a high birth weight are nearly twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as those born with a normal weight," they wrote in the December 30 Psychiatry Research. Using information from the Medication Reimbursement Register and patient interviews, they further investigated the association of maternal type 2 diabetes and schizophrenia risk among offspring. High birth weight (>4000g) was associated with a 1.68-fold increase in schizophrenia susceptibility. Maternal diabetes at time of data collection, a proxy for gestational diabetes, was associated with a 1.66-fold increase in the risk of schizophrenia among offspring.

The researchers said their results corroborate recent findings showing an association between high birth weight and schizophrenia and point to a potential birth-weight-independent association between maternal type 2 diabetes and schizophrenia among offspring.

For information about other factors common in children who later develop schizophrenia, see Psychiatric News.

(Image: Francois Etienne du Plessis/


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