Inpatient admissions to all psychiatric hospital beds in England and Wales in 1970-73 were studied by month of admission for eight diagnostic groups. The admission rates for schizophrenia showed a pronounced seasonal variation, with a maximum in summer. The seasonal pattern for schizophrenia was very similar to the one shown for mania, although somewhat less marked. The admission rates for neurosis and for the large group of 'all other non-psychotic mental illness' showed little evidence of seasonal variation as there was could largely be explained by social factors. In schizophrenic and manic patients, the pattern of seasonal admissions (peak months July and August) is similar to the pattern reported for their births (peak months February and March). This is consistent with the hypothesis of an abnormal seasonal pattern of parental conception as the cause of the abnormal birth pattern.
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