Author Affiliations: Epidemiology of Developmental
Brain Disorders Department, New York State Psychiatric Institute; Faculty
of Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New
York; and Department of International Health and Development, School of Public
Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, La.
The study by St Clair et al1 in this
issue of JAMA reports an association between prenatal
exposure to severe maternal nutritional deficiency and risk for schizophrenia
in adulthood. Examination of this question was achieved through strategic
use of the Chinese famine of 1959 through 1961 as the fulcrum of their study
design. In so doing, these authors afford yet another excellent example, frequent
among articles in the annual JAMA theme issue on
violence and human rights, of epidemiologists extracting otherwise inaccessible
scientific knowledge from the harsh soil of human catastrophe.
Neugebauer R. Accumulating Evidence for Prenatal Nutritional Origins of Mental Disorders. JAMA. 2005;294(5):621-623. doi:10.1001/jama.294.5.621