Food and Behaviour Research

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Association Between Prepartum Maternal Iron Deficiency and Offspring Risk of Schizophrenia: Population-Based Cohort Study With Linkage of Danish National Registers

Sørensen HJ, Nielsen PR, Pedersen CB, Mortensen PB. (2010) Schizophr Bull.   Jan 21. [Epub ahead of print] 

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Abstract:

Recent findings suggest that maternal iron deficiency may increase the risk of schizophrenia-spectrum disorder in offspring. We initiated this study to determine whether maternal prepartum anemia influences offspring risk of schizophrenia.

We conducted a population-based study with individual record linkage of the Danish Civil Registration System, the Danish Psychiatric Central Register, and the Danish National Hospital Register. In a cohort of 1 115 752 Danish singleton births from 1978 to 1998, cohort members were considered as having a maternal history of anemia if the mother had received a diagnosis of anemia at any time during the pregnancy. Cohort members were followed from their 10th birthday until onset of schizophrenia, death, or December 31, 2008, whichever came first.

Adjusted for relevant confounders, cohort members whose mothers had received a diagnosis of anemia during pregnancy had a 1.60-fold (95% confidence interval = 1.16-2.15) increased risk of schizophrenia. Although the underlying mechanisms are unknown and independent replication is needed, our findings suggest that maternal iron deficiency increases offspring risk of schizophrenia.