Obstetric complications

How are obstetric complications related to risk of schizophrenia?

Obstetric complications are a broad class of deviations from a normal course of events experienced during pregnancy, labour, delivery and the early neonatal period. Studies have attempted to investigate whether any deviation or combination of deviations are related to the subsequent development of schizophrenia.

What is the evidence for obstetric complications?

Moderate to high quality evidence finds a large effect of increased odds of schizophrenia with exposure to maternal diabetes in utero. There were medium-sized effects of birth weight <2,000g, congenital malformations, uterine atony, Rhesus variables (comprising rhesus incompatibility, rhesus-negative mother and rhesus antibodies), and a small effect of bleeding in pregnancy. Moderate quality evidence also found a small effect of preeclampsia, and moderate to low quality evidence found small effects of asphyxia and birth weight <2,500g. Review authors state that uncontrolled confounding variables may account for some, if not all of the associations observed

For obstetric complications in general, moderate quality evidence finds a medium-sized increased risk of ultra high-risk mental states and a small increased risk of schizophrenia compared to bipolar disorder.

February 2020

Last updated at: 3:29 am, 24th February 2020
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