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Poor school performance linked to schizophrenia

NOVEMBER 21, 2007

Dr James MacCabe and colleagues from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's, in collaboration with researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, have conducted the largest ever study on the relationship between school performance and schizophrenia.  The paper has been published on line in the journal of Psychological Medicine on 8 November 2007. The researchers used Swedish population registers to link data on almost 1 million Swedish children, following them up to age 30.

The results show that poor school performance in childhood is strongly associated with being hospitalised for schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and a range of other psychotic disorders in adulthood. Although it is difficult to know whether biological or social factors are responsible for the association, it does not seem to be the result of differences in parental education, socioeconomic status or pregnancy characteristics (e.g. low birth weight). The most striking finding is that this association was present across all 16 compulsory school subjects studied in Sweden, including both academic subjects and non-academic ones such as sport, handicraft or childcare.

Please refer to the journal for a copy of the whole paper.
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