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Lower IQ tied to heighted risk of schizophrenia, nonaffective psychoses

10 May 2018

Lower IQ appears to be associated with low-grade systemic inflammation, as well as an increased risk of developing schizophrenia and other nonaffective psychoses (ONAP) in adulthood, according to a study.

Researchers analysed population-based data on erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and IQ from 638,213 Swedish men assessed during military conscription between 1969 and 1983. The conscription data were linked to National Hospital Discharge Register for hospitalization with schizophrenia and ONAP.

At baseline, ESR level was 0–3 mm/h in 73.79 percent of participants, 4–6 mm/h in 17.56 percent, 7–10 mm/h in 5.49 percent and 11 mm/h in 3.16 percent. Schizophrenia and ONAP developed in 5,398 (0.85 percent) and 5,133 (0.80 percent) individuals, respectively.

Linear and Cox regression analysis showed baseline IQ to be associated with subsequent risk of schizophrenia (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] per 1-point increase in IQ, 0.961; 95 percent CI, 0.960–0.963) and ONAP (adjusted HR, 0.973; 0.971–0.975). There was a dose-response association between higher ESR and lower IQ.

High ESR was associated with a 14-percent increased risk of schizophrenia (adjusted HR, 1.14; 1.01–1.28) and 15-percent lower risk of ONAP (adjusted HR, 0.85; 0.74–0.96), but these effects were specific to one ESR band (7–10 mm/hr).

Familial confounding explained the association between ESR and IQ but not that between ESR and psychoses. Moreover, IQ partly mediated the ESR-psychoses relationships.

The present data suggest that inflammation may increase the risk of schizophrenia by affecting processes involved in cognitive development.

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Most Read Articles
17 Dec 2016
Study shows that mild depressive symptoms influence the impact of childhood trauma (CT) on long-term functional outcome in early psychosis (EP).
10 Jan 2017
Different repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) modalities have minimal differences in clinical efficacy and acceptability for acute depressive disorder, new study shows.
2 days ago
Medications used to treat alcohol and opioid use disorders appear to be also effective in reducing suicidality and crime during treatment, according to a recent study.