Maternal bacterial infection during pregnancy is associated with a significantly higher risk for psychotic disorders in offspring depending on severity of the infection and offspring sex, according to a study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

The study included data from 15,421 participants of live births between 1959 and 1966 at the Boston and Providence sites of the Collaborative Perinatal Project. Researchers identified those with psychotic disorders among the original parents and among the adult offspring. Trained nonphysician interviewers and physicians collected exposure data from participants at the time of registration for prenatal care, at intervals of 4 weeks during the first 8 months and every week following.

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