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Association of measures of fetal and childhood growth with non-clinical psychotic symptoms in 12-year-olds : the ALSPAC cohort

By Kate Thomas, Glynn Harrison, Stanley Zammit, Glyn Lewis, Jeremy Horwood, Jon Heron, Chris Hollis, Dieter Wolke, Andrew D. Thompson and David Gunnell


Background: Previous studies have suggested that impaired fetal and childhood growth are associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia, but the association of pre-adult growth with non-clinical psychotic symptoms (psychosis-like symptoms) in children is not known. Aims: To explore the associations of body size at birth and age 7.5 years with childhood psychosis-like symptoms. Method: Prospective cohort of children followed up from birth to age 12: the ALSPAC cohort. Results: Data on 6000 singleton infants born after 37 weeks of gestation. A one standard deviation increase in birth weight was associated with an 18% reduction in the risk of definite psychosis-like symptoms after adjusting for age and gestation (Odds ratio (OR)=0.82, 95% CI=0.73-0.92, P=0.001). This association was partly confounded by maternal anthropometry, smoking during pregnancy, socioeconomic status and IQ. A similar association was seen for birth length and psychosis-like symptoms, which disappeared after controlling for birth weight. There was little evidence for an association of 7-year height or adiposity with psychosis-like symptoms. Conclusions: Measures of impaired fetal, but not childhood, growth are associated with an increased risk of psychosis-like symptoms in 12-year-olds

Topics: RC0321, RJ
Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists
Year: 2009
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