Paternal and maternal age as risk factors for schizophrenia: a case–control study

Konstantinos N. Fountoulakis, Xenia Gonda, Melina Siamouli, Panagiotis Panagiotidis, Katerina Moutou, Ioannis Nimatoudis, Siegfried Kasper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Advanced parental age might constitute a generic risk factor for mental and somatic disorders. The current study tested whether this concerns also patients with schizophrenia. Methods: A total of 231 schizophrenic, 56 other severe mental disorders patients and 204 controls were diagnosed according to DSM-IV-TR. Data were tested with ANOVA models including relative risk and odds ratios. Results: Patients with schizophrenia manifested higher paternal (32.55 ± 6.35 vs. 29.42 ± 6.07, p <.001) and maternal age (27.66 ± 5.57 vs. 25.46 ± 4.52, p <.001). Patients with other mental disorders had higher paternal (33.29 ± 8.35; p =.001) but not maternal age (26.69 ± 5.89; p =.296) compared to controls. There was no difference between the two patient groups concerning either paternal or maternal age (p >.05). There seems to be a higher risk for the development of schizophrenia in offspring with paternal age above 25 years and maternal age above 22 years at delivery. Conclusions: The current study provides further support for the suggestion that advanced paternal age constitutes a risk factor (in a non-dose dependent and gender-independent way) for the development of schizophrenia but also for other mental disorders. In contrast, advanced maternal age characterises schizophrenia specifically. The higher risk is evident after 25 years of paternal and 22 years of maternal age, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-176
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 3 2018


  • Schizophrenia
  • maternal age
  • parental age
  • paternal age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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