Testing the effect of season of birth on familial risk for schizophrenia and related disorders.
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BACKGROUND: An excess of late winter and early spring births in schizophrenia has been repeatedly demonstrated. Previous evidence has suggested that the risk for schizophrenia may differ in relatives of schizophrenic probands born in this high risk period v. at other times of the year. METHOD: In an epidemiologically based family study conducted in the west of Ireland, we examined the relationship between season of birth in schizophrenia and schizophrenia spectrum probands and the risk for schizophrenia and related disorders in first-degree relatives. Risk was assessed using the Cox proportional hazard method. We examined four birth seasons previously shown to significantly predict risk for schizophrenia. RESULTS: Neither the risk for schizophrenia nor that for schizophrenia spectrum disorders in relatives was significantly associated with season of birth in probands. CONCLUSIONS: Season of birth does not, in this sample, identify schizophrenic probands with particularly high or low familial vulnerability to illness.
author list (cited authors)
Hettema, J. M., Walsh, D., & Kendler, K. S.
complete list of authors
Hettema, JM||Walsh, D||Kendler, KS