Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten

, Volume 232, Issue 5, pp 439–450 | Cite as

Is there an increase of reproductive rates in schizophrenics?

I. Critical review of the literature
  • Fritz Haverkamp
  • Peter Propping
  • Tamara Hilger
Article

Summary

It is well-known that the fertility of schizophrenic patients, particularly males, is below the population average. The main measures of fertility (reproductivity) are marriage rate, marital fertility, and rate of reproduction. A review of the literature reveals the rate of reproduction of schizophrenic patients to be 30% to 80% of the general population, the reduction being mainly due to reduced probability of marriage. At least one investigation presented evidence for an increase in marriage rate and rate of reproduction in schizophrenic patients relative to the general population in recent time. If this increase were to be confirmed it would undoubtedly have practical as well as theoretical implications. The hypothesis of a compensatory higher fertility of healthy relatives of schizophrenics based on a physiological advantage is empirically unproven. Additionally, the concept of a balanced polymorphism in schizophrenia rests on a superficial analogy with Mendelian traits.

Key words

Fertility Schizophrenia Reproductive rates Selective advantage 

Zusammenfassung

Seit langem ist bekannt, daß Schizophrene, besonders männliche Patienten, eine gegenüber der Allgemeinbevölkerung herabgesetzte Fertilität haben. Die wichtigsten Meßgrößen der Fertilität sind die Heiratsrate, die eheliche Fertilität und die allgemeine Rate der Reproduktivität. In der Literatur liegt die allgemeine Rate der Reproduktivität schizophrener Patienten bei 30–80% der Allgemeinbevölkerung. Dies beruht in erster Linie auf einer herabgesetzten Heiratsrate. Eine Studie beschreibt eine Angleichung der Heiratsrate und der allgemeinen Reproduktivität von schizophrenen Patienten an die Allgemeinbevölkerung. Wenn der Anstieg sich bestätigen ließe, dann wäre dies von theoretischer und praktischer Bedeutung. Für die Hypothese einer kompensatorisch erhöhten Fertilität der gesunden Verwandten von Schizophrenen, die sogar mit einem physiologischen Vorteil in Zusammenhang gebracht worden ist, gibt es bislang keine empirischen Belege. Das Konzept eines balancierten genetischen Polymorphismus bei der Schizophrenie beruht auf einer oberflächlichen Analogie mit Mendelschen Merkmalen.

Schlüsselwörter

Fertilität Schizophrenie Reproduktivität Selektions-vorteil 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bleuler M (1972) Die schizophrenen Geistesstörungen im Lichte langjähriger Kranken- und Familiengeschichten. G Thieme, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  2. Böök JA (1953) A genetic and neuropsychiatric investigation of a North-Swedish population. Acta Gen Stat Med 4:1–100Google Scholar
  3. Buck C, Hobbs GE, Simpson H, Wanklin JM (1975) Fertility of the sibs of schizophrenic patients. Br J Psychiatr 127:235–239Google Scholar
  4. Burr WA, Falek A, Strauss LT, Brown SB (1979) Fertility in psychiatric outpatients. Hosp Comm Psychiatr 30:527–531Google Scholar
  5. Erlenmeyer-Kimling L, Paradowski W (1966) Selection and schizophrenia. Am Natur 100:651–665Google Scholar
  6. Erlenmeyer-Kimling L, Nicol S, Rainer JD, Deming WE (1969) Changes in fertility rates of schizophrenic patients in New York State. Am J Psychiatr 125:916–927Google Scholar
  7. Erlenmeyer-Kimling L, Wunsch-Hitzig R, Deutsch S (1980) Family formation by schizophrenics. In: Robins LN, Clayton PJ, Wing JK (eds) The social consequences of psychiatric illness. Brunner/Mazel, New York, pp 114–134Google Scholar
  8. Essen-Møller E (1935) Untersuchungen über die Fruchtbarkeit gewisser Gruppen von Geisteskranken. Acta Psychiatr Neurol 8:1–314Google Scholar
  9. Essen-Møller E (1936) Die Heiratshäufigkeit der Geschwister von Schizophrenen. Arch Rassen Gesellschaftsbiol 30:367–379Google Scholar
  10. Fowler RC, Tsuang M (1975) Spouses of schizophrenics: a blind comparative study. Comprehen Psychiatr 16: 339–342Google Scholar
  11. Garrone G (1962) Etude statistique et génétique de la schizophrénie à Genéve de 1901 à 1950. J Génét Hum 11:89–219Google Scholar
  12. Goldfarb C, Erlenmeyer-Kimling L (1962) Mating and fertility trends in schizophrenia. In: Kallmann J (ed) Expanding goals of genetics in psychiatry. Grune and Stratton, New York London, pp 42–51Google Scholar
  13. Gottesmann II, Shields J (1967) A polygenetic theory of schizophrenia. Proc Natl Acad Sci 58:199–205Google Scholar
  14. Harper RS, Walker DA, Tyler A, Newcombe RG, Davies K (1979) Huntington's chorea: the basis for long-term prevention. Lancet II:346–349Google Scholar
  15. Harper PS, Tyler A, Smith S, Jones P, Newcombe RG, McBroom V (1981) Decline in the predicted incidence of Huntington's chorea associated with systematic genetic counselling and family support. Lancet II: 411–413Google Scholar
  16. Huber G, Gross G, Schüttler R (1979) Schizophrenie: Eine Verlaufs- und sozialpsychiatrische Langzeitstudie. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Jarvik LF, Deckard BS (1977) The Odyssean personality. A survival advantage for carriers of genes predisposing to schizophrenia. Neuropsychobiol 3:179–191Google Scholar
  18. Kallmann FJ (1938) The genetics of schizophrenia: a study of heredity and reproduction in the families of 1087 schizophrenics. Augustin Publ, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. Lane E (1971) Biasing factors affecting estimates of fertility rates of schizophrenics. J Psychol 78:49–63Google Scholar
  20. Lavik NJ (1982) Marital status in psychiatric patients. Acta Psychiatr Scand 65:15–28Google Scholar
  21. Lindelius R (1970) A study of schizophrenia. Acta Psychiatr Scand (Suppl) 216Google Scholar
  22. MacSorley K (1964) An investigation into the fertility of mentally ill patients. Ann Hum Genet 27:247–256Google Scholar
  23. Modrzewska K (1980) The offspring of schizophrenic parents in a North-Swedish isolate. Clin Gen 17:191–201Google Scholar
  24. Newmark M, Penry JK (1980) Genetics of epilepsy: a review. Raven Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  25. Ødegard O (1960) Marriage rate and fertility in psychotic patients before hospital admission and after discharge. J Soc Psychiatr 6:25–33Google Scholar
  26. Ødegard O (1980) Fertility of psychiatric first admissions in Norway. Acta Psychiatr Scand 62:212–220Google Scholar
  27. Reid AA (1973) Schizophrenia—disease or syndrome? Arch Gen Psychiatr 28:863–869Google Scholar
  28. Rimmer J, Jacobson B (1976) Differential fertility of adopted schizophrenics and their half-siblings. Acta Psychiatr Scand 54:161–166Google Scholar
  29. Shearer ML, Cain AC, Finch SM, Davidson RT (1968) Unexpected effects of an “open door” policy on birth rates of women in state hospitals. Am J Orthopsychiat 38:413–417Google Scholar
  30. Slater E, Hare EH, Price JS (1971) Marriage and fertility of psychiatric patients compared with national data. Soc Biol 18:60–73Google Scholar
  31. Stevens BC (1969) Marriage and fertility of women suffering from schizophrenia or affective disorders. Oxford University Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  32. Vogel HP (1979) Fertility and sibship size in a psychiatric patient population. Acta Psychiatr Scand 60:483–503Google Scholar
  33. Vogel F, Propping P (1982) Genetic variability and its influence on the risk to schizophrenia. Paper read at the Intern Symposium on “Theoretical problems of modern psychiatry”, Moscow, May 11–12 (in press)Google Scholar
  34. Zellweger H, Jonasescu V (1978) Genetics of mental retardation. In: Carter CH (ed) Medical aspects of mental retardation. Charles C Thomas, Springfield, pp 123–193Google Scholar
  35. Zerbin-Rüdin E (1980) Psychiatrische Genetik. In: Kisker KP, Meyer JE, Müller C, Strömgren E (eds) Psychiatrie der Gegenwart. Forschung und Praxis, Bd I/2. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 545–561Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fritz Haverkamp
    • 1
  • Peter Propping
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tamara Hilger
    • 1
  1. 1.Sonderforschungsbereich 116 am Zentralinstitut für Seelische GesundheitMannheim J 5
  2. 2.Institut für HumangenetikUniversität HeidelbergHeidelbergFederal Republic of Germany

Personalised recommendations