Birth order and risk for schizophrenia: a 31-year follow-up of the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort

L Kemppainen (Lead / Corresponding author), J Veijola, J Jokelainen, A-L Hartikainen, M-R Järvelin, P Jones, T Croudace, M Isohanni

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    30 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: The Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort was studied in order to investigate the association between birth order and schizophrenia.
    Method: Four categories of birth order status (first-born, last-born, onlychild and other status) were formed and linked to data on psychiatricmorbidity. Effects were adjusted for wantedness of pregnancy, perinatalcomplications, maternal age at delivery, family type and number ofsiblings.
    Results: The risk for schizophrenia was elevated among male first-borns(ratio 1.5; 95% CI 1.0-2.2) and female last-borns (ratio 1.3; 95% CI 0.9-1.9). The risk was lower than expected among male last-borns (ratio 0.7;95% CI 0.5-0.9) and females belonging to other status (ratio 0.6; 95% CI 0.3-0.9).
    Conclusion: These results suggest that specic birth order status is anindependent risk factor for schizophrenia. Theoretical explanations mayarise from biological factors unidentied here and/or psychologicalstressors linked with these positions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)148-152
    Number of pages5
    JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
    Volume104
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2001

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