Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
MENDONCA, Fernanda A. S. et al. Correlation between schizophrenia and seasonality of birth in a tropical region. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2009, vol.12, n.4, pp. 541-548. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2009000400004.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the statistical relationship between season of birth and schizophrenia in 461 patients hospitalized in three psychiatric facilities in the towns of Araras, Itapira, and Espírito Santo do Pinhal, interior of São Paulo State, southeastern Brazil. METHODS: Date and place of birth of the patients were collected and used to determine the season of birth. Results were analyzed by the chi-square test. Data regarding temperature and rainfall between 1952 and 1986, corresponding to the years of birth of the patients studied, were also obtained. RESULTS: The results showed a higher prevalence of births in the winter months (p = 0.0044), a period characterized in this region by a decline in temperature and rainfall. CONCLUSION: These findings indicate a possible influence of seasonality on the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and suggest that the winter in this region, together with other factors, may contribute to the late development of the disease.
Keywords : Brazil; Schizophrenia; Seasonality; Season of birth; Subtropical region.