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Childhood predictors of future psychiatric morbidity in offspring of mothers with psychotic disorder: Results from the Helsinki High-Risk Study

  • Laura T. Niemi (a1), Jaana M. Suvisaari (a2), Jari K. Haukka (a3) and Jouko K. Lönnqvist (a3)
Abstract
Background

The Helsinki High-Risk Study monitors women treated for schizophrenia-spectrum disorders in Helsinki mental hospitals before 1975, their offspring, and controls.

Aims

To compare the development of high-risk and control group children, and investigate which factors predicted future psychiatric disorders.

Method

We examined information from childhood and school health record cards of 159 high-risk and 99 control group offspring. Logistic regression was used to assess whether developmental abnormalities predicted later mental disorders.

Results

Compared with controls, children in the high-risk group had more emotional symptoms before school age, attentional problems and social inhibition at school age, and neurological soft signs throughout. Inthisgroup pre-school socia adjustment problems (OR=9.7, 95% CI 1.8–51.8) or severe neurological symptom: (Fisher's test, P=0.006) predicted future schizophrenia-spectrum disorder. Social adjustment problems and emotional symptoms during school age predicted future non-psychotic psychiatric disorders.

Conclusions

Our study supports the validity of neurological, emotional, social and behavioural markers as vulnerability indicators of psychotic and other mental disorders, particularly among children genetically at high risk of psychosis.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Laura Niemi, Department of Mental Health and Alcohol Research, KTL, National Public Institute, Mannerheimintie 166, F1N-00300 Helsinki, Finland. Tel: +358 9 4744 8894; e-mail: laura.niemi@ktl.fi
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Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Childhood predictors of future psychiatric morbidity in offspring of mothers with psychotic disorder: Results from the Helsinki High-Risk Study

  • Laura T. Niemi (a1), Jaana M. Suvisaari (a2), Jari K. Haukka (a3) and Jouko K. Lönnqvist (a3)
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