Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that affects a significant proportion of the global population, particularly those of childbearing age. Several studies have attempted to find an association between schizophrenia and obstetric complications, with varying results.
The primary objective of this systematic review and meta-analyses was to summarize the relationship between maternal schizophrenia and perinatal pregnancy outcomes.
PubMed, Web of Science and Ovid EMBASE were searched from January 2001 to September 2022 using keywords related to pregnancy, women, schizophrenia.
A total of 23 independent studies across 21,253 individuals with schizophrenia were identified and included in the analysis.
The following data were extracted: author, year of publication, country/continent of data collection, study design, demographic characteristics, diagnoses criteria, related complications. Data were analyzed using random-effects pairwise meta-analysis and were reported as prevalence and odd ratios (OR). Statistical heterogeneity was quantified with the I2 statistic.
The prevalence of adverse perinatal pregnancy outcomes was represented in descending order: cesarean section (26.0 %); labor induction (24.0 %); small for gestational age (10.5 %); gestational diabetes mellitus (9.2 %); preterm birth (9.1 %); low birth weight (7.8 %); preterm rupture of membranes (6.1 %); 1-Minute Apgar Score < 7 (5.6 %); large for gestational age (5.5 %); birth defect (5.4 %); antepartum hemorrhage (4.4 %);preeclampsia/eclampsia (4.8 %); postpartum hemorrhage (3.9 %); 5-Minute Apgar Score < 7 (3.6 %); gestational hypertension (3.3 %); placental abruption (1.0 %); placenta previa (0.6 %); thromboembolic disease (0.4 %); neonatal mortality (0.3 %) (P ≤ 0.05). There was a higher risk of adverse outcomes including gestational diabetes mellitus, preeclampsia/eclampsia, placental abruption, thromboembolic disease, preterm birth, birth defect, 1-Minute Apgar score < 7, small for gestational age, low birth weight and neonatal mortality compared with non-schizophrenia population (P ≤ 0.05).
Women with schizophrenia are at higher risk of adverse perinatal pregnancy outcomes. It is imperative that research efforts continue to focus on the reproductive safety of women with schizophrenia during their childbearing years.