Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Mental health conditions

Maternal smoking increases schizophrenia risk in offspring

Risk of schizophrenia increased by 38% for babies with greatest exposure to cotinine, a nicotine metabolite.

Nicotine crosses the placenta during pregnancy and can adversely affect foetal brain development. However, studies into the relationship between maternal smoking and schizophrenia, which can affect up to 1% of the population, have given conflicting results. 

Researchers conducted a study involving 977 people born between 1983 and 1998 in Finland who were diagnosed with schizophrenia. They analysed the level of maternal serum cotinine, which is found in tobacco, from stored serum samples taken in the first two to four months of pregnancy. 

After comparing the samples with matched controls, the researchers found that schizophrenia risk increased with cotinine levels. In offspring with the greatest cotinine exposure, the risk of schizophrenia was increased by 38% after adjusting for confounders. 

Reporting in the American Journal of Psychiatry (online, 24 May 2016)[1], the researchers say the results are the strongest evidence yet of a relationship between foetal nicotine exposure and schizophrenia.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/CP.2016.20201191

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

RPS publications

Pharmaceutical Press is the publishing division of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and is a leading provider of authoritative pharmaceutical information used throughout the world.

Visit rpharms.com

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Pregnant woman smoking

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.