Schizophrenia after prenatal exposure to 1957 A2 influenza epidemic

Lancet. 1991 May 25;337(8752):1248-50. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(91)92919-s.


The birth dates of schizophrenic inpatients in eight health regions in England and Wales were reviewed for any effect of the 1957 A2 influenza epidemic. 5 months after the peak infection prevalence, the number of births of individuals who later developed schizophrenia was 88% higher than the average number of such births in the corresponding periods of the 2 previous and the next 2 years. This finding is in accordance with a study from Helsinki and with clinical and neuropathological evidence of aberrant fetal brain development in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human / complications*
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / epidemiology
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia / etiology*
  • Wales / epidemiology