Fast Five Quiz: Schizophrenia Practice Essentials

Steve Soreff, MD


November 22, 2022

Schizophrenia has a strong genetic component. A meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies identified 108 schizophrenia-associated loci. However, other factors have also been associated with enhanced risk for schizophrenia. Paternal age older than 34 years has been established as a risk.

Additional risk factors include:

  • Trauma and social adversities

  • Urban residence

  • Cannabis and other substance use

  • Cognitive impairments and brain structural abnormalities

  • Abnormal fetal development and low birth weight

  • Emergency cesarean section and other birthing complications

  • Gestational diabetes

  • Maternal malnutrition and vitamin D deficiency

  • Preeclampsia

Although some variation by race or ethnicity has been reported, no racial differences in the prevalence of schizophrenia have been firmly established. Some research indicates that schizophrenia is diagnosed more frequently in Black people than in White people; however, this finding has been attributed to cultural bias of clincians.

The prevalence of schizophrenia is about the same in men and women. The onset of schizophrenia is later in women than in men, and the clinical manifestations are less severe. This may be because of the antidopaminergic influence of estrogen.

Learn more about schizophrenia.


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