Our response to COVID-19

We're supporting people to maintain their wellbeing and manage isolation.

Which risk factors are associated with schizophrenia?

Many disorders are the result of interaction between genetic and environmental influences. One example is cardiovascular disease; people with a family history of cardiovascular disease are more susceptible to heart problems, and environmental influences such as poor diet can increase this risk. Schizophrenia is also a complex disorder that can arise from both genetic and environmental influences, although genetic factors contribute a much greater risk than environmental factors with a heritability estimate of 80%.

We have not included detailed information on genetic risk factors in the Library due to the availability of these details on a website specifically about genetics in schizophrenia (see; www.szgene.org).

Several environmental risk factors have been identified as increasing the risk for schizophrenia, these include:

  • Recreational cannabis use, particularly in childhood or adolescence.
  • Exposure to obstetric complications in utero or at birth, including maternal diabetes, emergency caesarean section, congenital malformations, or low birth weight <2000g.
  • Exposure to severe childhood adversities, and poor family relationships.
  • Being an immigrant, either first or second generation, particularly from a developing country coming to a developed country and living in an area with low ethnic minority density.
  • Exposure to childhood central nervous system viral infections.
  • Having an older father (over 50) at birth.

April 2019

Last updated at: 10:38 pm, 9th April 2019

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.