To determine if neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is associated with schizophrenia in Asian populations, we investigated a Han Chinese population using both a family trio design and a case-control design. A total of 25 microsatellite markers and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped spanning the 1.1 Mb NRG1 gene including markers of a seven-marker haplotype at the 5' end of the gene found to be in excess in Icelandic and Scottish schizophrenia patients. The alleles of the individual markers forming the seven marker at-risk haplotype are not likely to be causative as they are not in excess in patients in the Chinese population studied here. However using unrelated patients, we find a novel haplotype (HAP(China 1)), immediately upstream of the Icelandic haplotype, in excess in patients (11.9% in patients vs 4.2% in controls; P=0.0000065, risk ratio (rr) 3.1), which was not significant when parental controls were used. Another haplotype (HAP(China 2)) overlapping the Icelandic risk haplotype was found in excess in the Chinese (8.5% of patients vs 4.0% of unrelated controls; P=0.003, rr 2.2) and was also significant using parental controls only (P=0.0047, rr 2.1). A four-marker haplotype at the 3' end of the NRG1 gene, HAP(China 3), was found at a frequency of 23.8% in patients and 13.7% in nontransmitted parental haplotypes (P=0.000042, rr=2.0) but was not significant in the case-control comparison. We conclude that different haplotypes within the boundaries of the NRG1 gene may be associated with schizophrenia in the Han Chinese.