a1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford; and Division of Psychology, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
On the basis of previous findings, we used meta-analyses to consider whether births to parents with schizophrenia have an increased risk of obstetric complications. Meta-analyses were based on published studies satisfying the following selection criteria. The schizophrenic diagnosis could apply to either parent: parents with non-schizophrenic psychoses were not included: only normal controls were accepted. In all, 14 studies provided effect sizes or data from which these could be derived. Studies were identified by data searches through MEDLINE, PSYCLIT and through references of papers relating to the subject. Births to individuals with schizophrenia incur an increased risk of pregnancy and birth complications, low birthweight and poor neonatal condition. However, in each case the effect size is small (mean r = 0·155; 95% CI = 0·057). The risk is greater for mothers with schizophrenia and is not confined to mothers with onset pre-delivery or to the births of the children who become schizophrenic themselves.
c1 Address for correspondence: Amanda Sacker, Division of Psychology. University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Herts. AL10 9AB.