Similar patterns are likely among many stressed women, said Dr. Dolores Malaspina of the New York University School of Medicine, who led the study.
Pregnant women who live through wars are more likely to give birth to a child who develops schizophrenia, U.S. researchers said Thursday in a study linking prenatal stress with mental illness.
Babies born to women who were in their second month of pregnancy during the height of the 1967 Arab-Israeli Six-Day "War were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia in adulthood, they found.
"The constraints in question are those that we experienced a natural disaster like an earthquake or hurricane, a terrorist attack or a sudden bereavement," Malaspina said in a statement.
Writing in the BioMed Central journal BMC Psychiatry, the researchers said they studied data from 88,829 people born in Jerusalem from 1964 to 1976.
"The raw data suggest a two to three times the excess of schizophrenia in the cohort born in January 1968, whose mother was the second month of pregnancy in June 1967," they wrote.
"The people of Jerusalem would have been most stressed during the three days of bombardment on June 5-7."
Because the war was so short, they consider the natural situation experiment.Several studies show that the stress of pregnancy can lead to type 2 diabetes, hypertension and other types of heart disease in children .
In this study, the effects were observed more women than men, women who had been in their second month of pregnancy during the conflict 4.3 times more likely to develop schizophrenia than females born d other times. Men were 1.2 times more likely to develop schizophrenia if their mothers were pregnant during the war.
The placenta is very sensitive to stress hormones in the mother. These hormones were probably amplified during the time of war, "said Malaspina.
Some data indicate that male fetuses are more likely to be miscarried if the mother is stressed, so that May be that the fetus to survive with the damage that leads to schizophrenia, the researchers said.
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