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West Indian Med J. 2003 Jun;52(2):124-6.

Pregnancy and birth complications in patients with schizophrenia in Trinidad and London.


It has been shown that an excess of pregnancy and birth complications (PBCs) does not contribute to the excess rates of schizophrenia reported for the population of Caribbean origin in Britain compared with the native Caucasian British population. We therefore attempted to compare the rate of PBCs between a sample of schizophrenics in Britain with that of a sample from Trinidad where some of the Caribbean migrants to Britain originated. First contact patients with schizophrenia according to the CATEGO system diagnosis were identified in Trinidad and London. Their mothers, where available, were interviewed using the Lewis-Murray scale for pregnancy and birth complications. Data from Trinidad and Tobago concerning 56 patients were compared with those of the Caucasian (n = 61) and African-Caribbean (n = 50) patients in London. The rate of PBCs was similar for the Caucasian British patients (24.6%) and the patients in Trinidad and Tobago (21.7%). The rates were lowest in the African-Caribbean patients in London (14.0%), though this difference was not statistically significant. These findings suggest that pregnancy and birth complications are a risk factor for a substantial minority of patients with schizophrenia in Trinidad and London. It also confirms that the excess rates of schizophrenia reported for the Caribbean population in Britain are not due to these complications.

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