Between-year fluctuations in schizophrenia birth rate and associations with the Southern Oscillation Index, cloud cover and sunshine

McGrath, J., Welham, J., Davies, G., Chant, D. and Auliciems, A. (2000). Between-year fluctuations in schizophrenia birth rate and associations with the Southern Oscillation Index, cloud cover and sunshine. In: L. E. DeLisl, Schizophrenia Research: Abstracts of the Biennial Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia. Biennial Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia, Davos, Switzerland, (63-63). 5-11 February, 2000. doi:10.1016/S0920-9964(00)90439-0


Author McGrath, J.
Welham, J.
Davies, G.
Chant, D.
Auliciems, A.
Title of paper Between-year fluctuations in schizophrenia birth rate and associations with the Southern Oscillation Index, cloud cover and sunshine
Conference name Biennial Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia
Conference location Davos, Switzerland
Conference dates 5-11 February, 2000
Proceedings title Schizophrenia Research: Abstracts of the Biennial Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia   Check publisher's open access policy
Journal name Schizophrenia Research   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication Amsterdam
Publisher Elsevier
Publication Year 2000
Sub-type Published abstract
DOI 10.1016/S0920-9964(00)90439-0
ISSN 0920-9964
Editor L. E. DeLisl
Volume 41
Issue 1
Start page 63
End page 63
Total pages 1
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Our group have recently proposed that low prenatal vitamin D may be a risk-modifying factor for schizophrenia. Climate variability impacts on vitamin D levels in a population via fluctuations in the amount of available UV radiation. In order to explore this hypothesis, we examined fluctuations in the birthrates for people with schizophrenia born between 1920 and 1967 and three sets of variables strongly associated with UV radiation. These included: (a) the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), a marker of El Nino which is the most prominent meteorological factor that influences Queensland weather: (b) measures of cloud cover and (c) measures of sunshine. Schizophrenia births were extracted from the Queensland Mental Health register and corrected for background population birth rates. Schizophrenia birth rates had several apparently non-random features in common with the SO1. The prominent SO1 fluctuation event that occurred between 1937 and 1943 is congruent with the most prominent fluctuation in schizophrenia birth rates. The relatively flat profile of SOI activity between 1927 and 1936 also corresponds to the flattest period in the schizophrenia time series. Both time series have prominent oscillations in the 3 ~, year range between 1946 and 1960. Significant associations between schizophrenia birth rates and measures of both sunshine and cloud cover were identified,and all three time series shared periodicity in the 3-4 year range. The analyses suggest that the risk of schizophrenia is higher for those born during times of increased cloud cover,reduced sunshine and positive SO1. These ecological analyses provide initial support for the vitamin D hypothesis, however alternative non-genetic candidate exposures also need to be considered. Other sites with year-to-year fluctuations in cloud cover and sunshine should examine patterns of association between these climate variables and schizophrenia birth rates. The Stanley Foundation supported this project.
Subjects 110319 Psychiatry (incl. Psychotherapy)
111714 Mental Health
Keyword Psychiatry
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 11:34:45 EST