Age-specific familial risks of psychotic disorders and schizophrenia: A nation-wide epidemiological study from Sweden

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Objective: This study analyzed men and women separately by age at hospital diagnosis of psychotic disorder or schizophrenia and by maternal or paternal disease after taking several possible confounders into account. Methods: The Multigeneration Register, in which all men and women born in Sweden from 1932 onwards are registered together with their parents, was linked to hospital data. This yielded 21,199 male and 19,029 female cases of psychotic disorders in addition to 12,799 paternal and 23,021 maternal cases of psychotic disorders (including schizophrenia). Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated as the ratio of observed and expected number of cases among men and women with mothers and/or fathers affected by psychotic disorders or schizophrenia, compared with men and women whose mothers and/or fathers were not affected by psychotic disorders or schizophrenia. Results: The overall significant SIRs among men and women with a mother, father or both parents hospitalized for psychotic disorder varied between 2.86 and 20.30. Maternal transmission of psychotic disorder was stronger than paternal, and the highest SIRs were found in the youngest age groups. Similar results were found when the subgroup schizophrenia was analyzed separately. Maternal or paternal schizophrenia implied higher risks for the offspring than maternal or paternal psychotic disorders. Conclusions: Hereditary factors have a strong influence on the onset of psychotic disorders and schizophrenia. Young people and individuals with both parents affected by these diseases need special attention as their SIRs were particularly increased.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Familial risk
  • Genetics
  • Hereditary factors
  • Psychotic disorders


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