Stress In Early Pregnancy Linked to Schizophrenia
Mothers who experience severely distressful events such as a natural disaster, war-related events or the loss of a loved one early in pregnancy may have offspring with increased predisposition to schizophrenia.
Research published by New York University scientists in the journal BMC Psychiatry studied data from 88,829 people born in Jerusalem between 1964 and 1976. Focusing on individuals in their second month of fetal life during June of 1967, the time of Israel's 1967 Arab-Israeli War, researchers found a far greater incidence of schizophrenia than individuals born in previous or following times. Females in particular were 4.2 times more likely to develop the disorder while males were 1.2 times more likely. This was true even when researchers adjusted for birth weight, gestational age and seasonal differences.
These findings add to previous research that shows stress and anxiety in pregnancy may have quite long-term effects on offspring. They note, however, that mothers should not be alarmed about the effects of normal daily stress on fetal development.
ABSTRACT: Acute maternal stress in pregnancy and schizophrenia in offspring: a cohort prospective study.
Posted by FindCounseling.com Staff on August 21, 2008 at 08:35 AM | Permalink
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