Pre-conception inter-pregnancy interval and risk of schizophrenia

Lihini Gunawardana, George Davey Smith, Stanley Zammit, Elise Whitley, David Gunnell, Sarah Lewis, Finn Rasmussen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


It is hypothesised that the risk of schizophrenia may be elevated in children conceived following a short inter-pregnancy interval, when maternal folate stores are still being replenished. We examined the relationship between inter-pregnancy interval and schizophrenia risk in a longitudinal, population-based cohort. Risk of schizophrenia was increased by approximately 150% in those born following a pregnancy interval of ≤6 months, but was not increased if the interval after birth of the participant, before conception of the subsequent sibling, was ≤6 months. These findings support the hypothesis that folate (or other micronutrient) deficiency during fetal development may be an important risk factor for schizophrenia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-339
Number of pages2
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011


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