General and age-specific fertility rates in non-affective psychosis: Population-based analysis of Scottish women

Angus MacBeth*, Paula McSkimming, Sohinee Bhattacharya, John Park, Andrew Gumley, David St Clair, Sarah Barry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Women diagnosed with non-affective psychosis have a lower general fertility rate (GFR) and age-specific fertility rate (ASFR) than women in the general population. Contemporary data on GFR in this group remains limited, despite substantive changes in prescribing and management. We calculated contemporary estimates of the GFR and ASFR for women diagnosed with non-affective psychosis compared with the general population of women without this diagnosis.

Methods: A population-based design combined routinely collected historical maternity and psychiatric data from two representative areas of Scotland. Women were included from the NHS Grampian or Greater Glasgow and Clyde areas and were aged 15-44 between 2005 and 2013 inclusive. The 'exposed' group had a diagnosis of non-affective psychosis (ICD-10 F20 – F29) and were compared to the general population of 'unexposed' women in the same geographical areas.

Results: Annual GFR between 2005 and 2013 for women with non-affective psychopsis varied from 9.6 – 21.3 live births/1000 women per year in the exposed cohort and 52.7 to 57.8 live births/1000 women per year in the unexposed cohort, a Rate Ratio (RR) of 0.28 (p < 0.001; 95% CI (0.24, 0.32). ASFR for all 5-year age groups was lower in the exposed cohort than amongst unexposed women.

Conclusion: We highlight continued low fertility rates in women with a diagnosis of non-affective psychosis, despite widespread availability of prolactin-sparing atypical antipsychotics. Accurate estimation of fertility rates remains crucial in developing needs-matched perinatal care for these women. Methodological improvements using routine datasets to investigate perinatal mental health are also urgently needed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology
Early online date1 Jun 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jun 2022


  • schizophrenia
  • fertility
  • women
  • antipsychotics
  • psychotic disorders


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