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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2009 Jun;119(6):466-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2008.01332.x. Epub 2009 Feb 1.

Increased number of offspring in first degree relatives of psychotic individuals: a partial explanation for the persistence of psychotic illnesses.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel. mweiser@netvision.net.il

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

As patients with psychotic illness have fewer offspring than controls, the persistence of psychotic illness is puzzling. We hypothesized that unaffected first-degree relatives of patients have more offspring than controls.

METHOD:

Probands were 4904, individuals with non-affective psychotic disorders identified from a hospitalization registry. Unaffected first degree relatives and matched controls were identified from the Israeli Population Registry. The number of offspring of unaffected parents, biological siblings and controls was ascertained.

RESULTS:

Unaffected parents of psychotic patients had more offspring/person than controls; 4.5 +/- 2.7 vs. 3.4 +/- 2.2, P = 0.000. Unaffected parents from familial psychosis families (more than one affected family member) had 1.83 more offspring than controls; unaffected parents from non-familial psychosis families had 0.97 more offspring than controls (both P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION:

These findings might imply that genes which increase susceptibility for schizophrenia may be associated with increased number of offspring, perhaps supplying a partial explanation for the persistence of psychosis.

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PMID:
19187394
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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