Excess Body Weight of a Mother during pregnancy (above normal healthy pregnancy rates) is associated with a higher risk of child's development of schizophrenia.

Excess body weight (which is typically linked to poor dietary habits) in a pregnant mother has been linked with increased likelihood of the child developing schizophrenia. In a recent research report, scientists found a 24% increase in the risk of the child developing schizophrenia for every a one-unit increase of BMI (Body Mass Index measurement) during early pregnancy, and a 19% increase during late pregnancy. These factors were found to contribute, in part, to an excess of obstetric complications (baby delivery complications) in individuals with schizophrenia.

Poor maternal care during pregnancy and comparatively high maternal BMI especially at early pregnancy may cause a predisposition to schizophrenia in the offspring. Reasons for this might include an increased likelihood of obstetric complications if the mother is excessively heavy, or treatment of conditions like hypertension (that tend to go along with high BMI) with diuretics during pregnancy, which can retard brain development.

Related Readings: Prenatal Doctor's Visit may be Three Months Too Late

Actions: Prospective mothers should get early and quality pre-natal care, monitor their weight gain, and take care of their body health during pregnancy. They might also want to avoid diuretic treatment for hypertension.

Supporting Research (a sample):



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