OCD, Schizophrenia linked in new research

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Obsessive compulsive disorder is associated with higher risk of schizophrenia in a new study published last week by Danish researchers. The study found that a prior OCD diagnosis or being the offspring of parents diagnosed with OCD increased the risk of schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, was lead by Sandra M. Meier at Aarhus University. Her team looked at data from the Danish Psychiatric Central Register, focusing on the 3 million people born between 1955 and 2006 who were followed up between 1995 and 2012.

30,556 people developed schizophrenia spectrum disorder during the follow-up period of those, 700 (2.29 percent) had a prior OCD diagnosis. The children of parents diagnosed with OCD had an incidence ratio of schizophrenia of 4.31 (3.10 for schizophrenia spectrum).

This study follows others which have noted a marked co-occurrence of OCD and schizophrenia. "Future research is needed to disentangle which genetic and environmental factors are truly common to OCD and schizophrenia or schizophrenia spectrum disorders," writes Meier in the study.


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