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September 1990

Influenza and Schizophrenia: Helsinki vs Edinburgh-Reply

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry Edinburgh University Royal Edinburgh Hospital Edinburgh EH10 5HF, Scotland
Cancer Research Campaign Cancer Epidemiology Unit University of Edinburgh 15 George Sq Edinburgh EH8 9JZ, Scotland

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47(9):877-878. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810210085015

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In Reply.—  Dr Mednick and his colleagues are disappointed by our failure to replicate their claim that the children of women exposed to the influenza A virus during the second trimester of pregnancy are subsequently at increased risk of schizophrenia. So were we. It would have been much more exciting to have identified, at last, a specific and potentially avoidable environmental cause of schizophrenia. However, we cannot accept that our failure to replicate their findings is attributable to the crude methodologic shortcomings they suggest.Their assumption that we did not know the birth dates of the subjects of our third study (based on the 1918 and 1919 influenza pandemic) is quite incorrect. So too is their assertion that we tried to guess our subjects' years of birth from their ages at the time of hospital admission. Date of birth has been recorded routinely for all Scottish psychiatric inpatients since

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