Journal article

Prenatal exposure to influenza and the development of schizophrenia: is the effect confined to females?

N Takei, P Sham, E O'Callaghan, GK Murray, G Glover, RM Murray

Am J Psychiatry | Published : 1994

Abstract

The question of whether prenatal exposure to influenza epidemics is associated with an increased risk of later schizophrenia remains controversial. The authors examined this relationship, using data on the dates of birth and gender of 3,827 schizophrenic patients born in England and Wales between 1938 and 1965 and first admitted to hospitals in the 1980s, the numbers of live births between 1938 and 1965, and the numbers of deaths attributed to influenza between 1937 and 1965. The analysis showed that females, but not males, exposed to influenza epidemics 5 months before birth had a significantly greater rate of adult schizophrenia.

University of Melbourne Researchers