Smoking During Pregnancy and Schizophrenia Risk

Smoking during pregnancy may increase the risk that a child could develop schizophrenia, new research suggests.

“This is, so far, the largest study to show an association between prenatal nicotine exposure and schizophrenia,” said study author Dr. Solja Niemela. She is a professor of psychiatry and addiction medicine at the University of Oulu, Lapland Hospital District, in Rovaniemi, Finland.

Although the study didn’t prove cause and effect, the finding is the first to be based on blood sample analyses that provided evidence of nicotine exposure in the womb, rather than on less reliable maternal recollections of smoking behaviour, Niemela added.

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