The risk of schizophrenia in children associated with younger and older maternal age appears to be partly explained by the genetic association between schizophrenia and age at first birth, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.
S. Hong Lee, Ph.D., of the University of New England, New South Wales, Australia, and coauthors investigated the genetic relationship between schizophrenia and age at first birth in women using multiple independent genome-wide association study data sets.
"In summary, this study provides evidence for a significant overlap between genetic factors associated with risk of SCZ [schizophrenia] and genetic factors associated with AFB [age at first birth]. To our knowledge, this is the first study to explore a genetic relationship between SCZ and AFB using independent unrelated samples based on genomic data. We conclude that women with high genetic predisposition to SCZ tend to have their first child at an early age or a later age compared with women in the general population," the study concludes.
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