Evidence of a latitudinal gradient in the age at onset of schizophrenia

Andrew Shaner, Geoffrey Miller, Jim Mintz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Variation in the age at onset of a multifactorial disease often reflects variation in cause. Here we show a linear latitudinal gradient in the mean age at onset of schizophrenia in 13 northern hemisphere cities, ranging from 25 years old in Cali, Columbia (at 4° north) to 35 years old in Moscow, Russia (at 56° north). To our knowledge, this striking association has not been previously reported. We consider several explanations, including the effects of pathogen stress, natural selection, sexual selection, migration, life-history profiles, or some combination of these factors, and we propose a test of competing causal hypotheses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-63
Number of pages6
JournalSchizophrenia research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Age at onset
  • Evolution
  • Fitness indicator
  • Latitudinal gradient
  • Migration
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sexual selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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