Biol Psychiatry 2005 Jul;58(1):10-5
Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
Background: Pre-, peri-, and postnatal obstetric complications (OC) are reported to be more frequent in adult patients with schizophrenia and have been linked to both greater severity and to "earlier" age of onset (before either age 18 or 22) in studies of adult patients. We hypothesized that by extrapolation, patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia (COS), with very early onset and very severe illness, would have had more numerous or more salient OC compared with their healthy siblings.
Methods: We compared the obstetric records of 60 COS children and 48 healthy siblings using the Columbia Obstetrics Complication Scale, a comprehensive measurement scale consisting of 37 variables having included a separate scale for fetal hypoxia.
Results: Patients with COS did not have a higher incidence of OC than the healthy sibling control group with the exception of increased incidence of maternal vomiting.
Conclusions: Obstetric complications, with the possible exception of maternal vomiting, are unlikely to play a major role in the etiopathogenesis of childhood-onset schizophrenia.