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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1997 May;95(5):364-9.

Fertility in schizophrenia: results from a contemporary US cohort.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, PA, USA.


To investigate procreation in schizophrenia, as well as gender-related differences, female patients with schizophrenia (n = 79, DSM-III-R criteria) were compared with screened female controls (n = 124) and subsequently with male patients (n = 86). Two outcomes were investigated: (i) the proportion of subjects with one or more children (an index of fertility) and (ii) the number of children per subject among those with one or more children (an index of fecundity). Multivariate analysis was used to control for confounding variables. No significant differences in fertility between female patients and controls were detected, but reduced fecundity was noted among female patients past the reproductive period. Male patients showed a significant reduction in both fertility and fecundity compared to female patients. These results suggest that there is a relatively small impairment of fecundity among female patients compared with controls, but that there are more significant gender-related differences in both fertility and fecundity. The latter have important implications for the genetics of schizophrenia.

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