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Physical Activity Might Not Reduce Schizophrenia Risk

Contrary to current evidence, moderate/vigorous activity may increase risk

riding a bicycle

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Physical activity (PA) might not protect against schizophrenia risk, according to a research letter published online Dec. 9 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Sergi Papiol, Ph.D., from the University Hospital in Munich, Germany, and colleagues examined the association between PA and schizophrenia risk using data from the U.K. Biobank.

The researchers observed no association between PA and schizophrenia risk in any analyses. There was evidence of an association between self-reported moderate/vigorous PA and increased schizophrenia risk in a univariate analysis with and without correction for body mass index (BMI). A trend for overall activity was noted in a univariate analysis, but the association was no longer significant after BMI correction. It was not likely that horizontal pleiotropy, heterogeneity, or individual single-nucleotide polymorphism effects would confound the results obtained for moderate/vigorous PA.

"Moderate/vigorous self-reported PA seems to increase schizophrenia risk, results that are difficult to align with current evidence," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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