University of Oulu

Jan Stochl, Anjalene Whittier, Adam P. Wagner, Juha Veijola, Erika Jääskeläinen, Jouko Miettunen, Golam M. Khandaker, Peter B. Jones, Association between developmental milestones and age of schizophrenia onset: Results from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966, Schizophrenia Research, Volume 208, 2019, Pages 228-234, ISSN 0920-9964,

Association between developmental milestones and age of schizophrenia onset : results from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966

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Author: Stochl, Jan1,2,3; Whittier, Anjalene1; Wagner, Adam P.2,4;
Organizations: 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
2National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care East of England, Cambridge, UK
3Department of Kinanthropology, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
4Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
5Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
7Department of Psychiatry, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
8Department of Psychiatry, Research Unit of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
9Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-10-01


We investigated relationships between early developmental milestones, schizophrenia incidence and variability in its age at onset. We hypothesized that the period of risk for schizophrenia would be longer for those with later development. The Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 was followed until 47 years of age, and those members diagnosed with schizophrenia or any other non-affective psychoses identified. Latent profile analysis was used to classify people into homogenous classes with respect to developmental milestones, and subsequently survival analysis explored relationship between classes and age of schizophrenia onset. Results suggest that 4-classes (early, regular, late, and extra late developers) can be identified, but due to few cases in one class (n = 93, <0.01% of 10,501), only 3 classes (early, regular, late) could be meaningfully compared. Schizophrenia incidence until 47 years of age differed systematically between classes: late developers had the highest cumulative incidence (2.39%); regular were intermediate (1.25%); and early developers had the lowest incidence (0.99%). However, age at onset and its variability was similar across classes, suggesting that our hypothesis of a wider ‘window’ for schizophrenia onset in late developers was not supported.

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Series: Schizophrenia research
ISSN: 0920-9964
ISSN-E: 1573-2509
ISSN-L: 0920-9964
Volume: 208
Pages: 228 - 234
DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2019.02.013
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3124 Neurology and psychiatry
Funding: NFBC 1966 received financial support from University of Oulu Grant no. 24000692, Oulu University Hospital Grant no. 24301140, ERDF European Regional Development Fund Grant no. 539/2010 A31592. AP Wagner, J Stochl, and PB Jones received support from the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) East of England (EoE) at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. A Whittier is supported by the Gates Cambridge Trust. J Miettunen is supported by the Academy of Finland (grant nr. 268336). Dr. Khandaker acknowledges funding support from the Wellcome Trust (Intermediate Clinical Fellowship; grant no: 201486/Z/16/Z), MQ: Transforming Mental Health (grant no: MQDS17/40), and the UK Medical Research Council (grant no: MC_PC_17213). E Jääskeläinen received grants from the Academy of Finland (grant number 278 286), the Sigrid Jusélius Foundation, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 268336
Detailed Information: 268336 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
278286 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (