Prenatal exposure to maternal genital and reproductive infections and adult schizophrenia

Am J Psychiatry. 2006 May;163(5):927-9. doi: 10.1176/ajp.2006.163.5.927.


Objective: In this birth cohort study, the authors examined the relation between prenatal exposure to maternal genital/reproductive (G/R) infections and schizophrenia in offspring.

Method: The birth cohort consisted of 7,794 offspring of pregnancies with prospectively acquired data on maternal G/R infections from obstetric records. The authors diagnosed 71 cases of schizophrenia and other schizophrenia spectrum disorders in this cohort. The relationship between maternal G/R infections and schizophrenia risk was modeled.

Results: Exposure to G/R infections during the periconceptional period was associated with a significantly increased risk of schizophrenia and other schizophrenia spectrum disorders, with adjustment for maternal race, education, age, and mental illness.

Conclusions: Maternal G/R infection during periconception appears to increase the risk of schizophrenia in offspring.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child of Impaired Parents*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infections / epidemiology
  • Maternal Age
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Trimesters
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology*
  • Schizophrenia / etiology