Low Maternal Vitamin D As A Risk Factor for Schizophrenia

Low Maternal Vitamin D As A Risk Factor

for Schizophrenia: A Pilot Study Using Banked Sera

McGrath J, Eyles D, Mowry B, Yolken R, Buka S.

Schizophrenia Research 2003, Sept



OBJECTIVE: Evidence from epidemiology suggests

that low maternal vitamin D may be a risk factor for schizophrenia

METHOD: Based on sera taken during the third

trimester, we compared the level of 25 hydroxyvitamin D (3) in mothers of

individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders versus mothers of

unaffected controls.  For each case, we selected two controls matched on

race, gender and date of birth of the offspring.

RESULTS:  There was no significant

difference in third trimester maternal vitamin D in the entire sample (cases=26,

controls=51).  Within the subgroup of black individuals (n=21), there was a

trend level difference in the predicted direction.

CONCLUSIONS:  Maternal vitamin D does not

operate as a continuous risk factor for schizophrenia, however, the results in

the black subgroup raise the possibility that below a certain critical

threshold, low levels of maternal vitamin D may be associated with an increased

risk of schizophrenia.