Abstract

Although it is well recognised that schizophrenic patients are more often born in winter, the significance of this finding remains obscure. Data relating to season of birth and family history were analysed for 561 patients with an ICD-9 diagnosis of schizophrenia. Patients with no family history of any psychiatric disorder group were significantly more likely to be born in winter than patients with a first-degree relative affected by schizophrenia. In comparison with normal population controls, only those without a family history exhibited a significant excess of winter births, suggesting an environmental factor of greater aetiological significance in these patients.