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Child maltreatment (CM) and migrant status are independently associated with psychosis. We examined prevalence of CM by migrant status and tested whether migrant status moderated the association between CM and first-episode psychosis (FEP). We further explored whether differences in CM exposure contributed to variations in the incidence rates of FEP by migrant status.
We included FEP patients aged 18–64 years in 14 European sites and recruited controls representative of the local populations. Migrant status was operationalized according to generation (first/further) and region of origin (Western/non-Western countries). The reference population was composed by individuals of host country's ethnicity. CM was assessed with Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Prevalence ratios of CM were estimated using Poisson regression. We examined the moderation effect of migrant status on the odds of FEP by CM fitting adjusted logistic regressions with interaction terms. Finally, we calculated the population attributable fractions (PAFs) for CM by migrant status.
We examined 849 FEP cases and 1142 controls. CM prevalence was higher among migrants, their descendants and migrants of non-Western heritage. Migrant status, classified by generation (likelihood test ratio:χ2 = 11.3, p = 0.004) or by region of origin (likelihood test ratio:χ2 = 11.4, p = 0.003), attenuated the association between CM and FEP. PAFs for CM were higher among all migrant groups compared with the reference populations.
The higher exposure to CM, despite a smaller effect on the odds of FEP, accounted for a greater proportion of incident FEP cases among migrants. Policies aimed at reducing CM should consider the increased vulnerability of specific subpopulations.
Given psychotic illnesses' high heritability and associations with brain structure, numerous neuroimaging-genetics findings have been reported in the last two decades. However, few findings have been replicated. In the present independent sample we aimed to replicate any psychosis-implicated SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), which had previously shown at least two main effects on brain volume.
A systematic review for SNPs showing a replicated effect on brain volume yielded 25 studies implicating seven SNPs in five genes. Their effect was then tested in 113 subjects with either schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ‘at risk mental state’ or healthy state, for whole-brain and region-of-interest (ROI) associations with grey and white matter volume changes, using voxel-based morphometry.
We found FWER-corrected (Family-wise error rate) (i.e. statistically significant) associations of: (1) CACNA1C-rs769087-A with larger bilateral hippocampus and thalamus white matter, across the whole brain; and (2) CACNA1C-rs769087-A with larger superior frontal gyrus, as ROI. Higher replication concordance with existing literature was found, in decreasing order, for: (1) CACNA1C-rs769087-A, with larger dorsolateral-prefrontal/superior frontal gyrus and hippocampi (both with anatomical and directional concordance); (2) ZNF804A-rs11681373-A, with smaller angular gyrus grey matter and rectus gyri white matter (both with anatomical and directional concordance); and (3) BDNF-rs6265-T with superior frontal and middle cingulate gyri volume change (with anatomical and allelic concordance).
Most literature findings were not herein replicated. Nevertheless, high degree/likelihood of replication was found for two genome-wide association studies- and one candidate-implicated SNPs, supporting their involvement in psychosis and brain structure.
There is evidence of an association between life events and psychosis in Europe, North America and Australasia, but few studies have examined this association in the rest of the world.
To test the association between exposure to life events and psychosis in catchment areas in India, Nigeria, and Trinidad and Tobago.
We conducted a population-based, matched case–control study of 194 participants in India, Nigeria, and Trinidad and Tobago. Cases were recruited through comprehensive population-based, case-finding strategies. The Harvard Trauma Questionnaire was used to measure life events. The Screening Schedule for Psychosis was used to screen for psychotic symptoms. The association between psychosis and having experienced life events (experienced or witnessed) was estimated by conditional logistic regression.
There was no overall evidence of an association between psychosis and having experienced or witnessed life events (adjusted odds ratio 1.19, 95% CI 0.62–2.28). We found evidence of effect modification by site (P = 0.002), with stronger evidence of an association in India (adjusted odds ratio 1.56, 95% CI 1.03–2.34), inconclusive evidence in Nigeria (adjusted odds ratio 1.17, 95% CI 0.95–1.45) and evidence of an inverse association in Trinidad and Tobago (adjusted odds ratio 0.66, 95% CI 0.44–0.97).
This study found no overall evidence of an association between witnessing or experiencing life events and psychotic disorder across three culturally and economically diverse countries. There was preliminary evidence that the association varies between settings.
Transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to a global pandemic. Many studies are underway to ascertain the mental health impact of this seismic event, however no study has investigated its effect on psychosis incidence. We hypothesise that the overall crude incidence rates of first episode psychosis (FEP) will be higher during the pandemic when comparing the same area of South London in defined pre-pandemic and pandemic time periods.
Clinical records for all patients aged 18 to 64 years presenting to early intervention in psychosis services in the London boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth between July 1st 2019 to December 31st 2019 (pre-pandemic period) and July 1st 2020 to December 31st 2020 (pandemic period) were extracted from the Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRiS), an online database containing anonymised patient records. All patients were manually screened using the Screening Schedule for Psychosis to confirm FEP, with 104/235 cases meeting criteria for FEP in the pre-pandemic period compared with 158/376 in the pandemic period. Crude, age-standardised, and sex-standardised incidence rates and ratios were calculated for interpretation.
The crude incidence rate of FEP was significantly higher in the pandemic period (68.3, 95% CI:[57.6 ; 78.9]) than the pre-pandemic period (44.9, 95% CI:[36.3 ; 53.6]). The crude incidence ratio was 1.52 (95% CI:[1.28 ; 1.77]), indicating that the overall crude incidence of FEP in the pandemic period was significantly higher (52%) than in the pre-pandemic period. The directionality and statistical significance of this ratio was unperturbed by standardisation for age (SIR = 1.45, 95% CI[1.23 ; 1.70]) and sex (SIR = 1.56, 95% CI[1.33 ; 1.83]).
Our results suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the incidence of FEP in the South London boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth. Further research is required to elucidate the factors contributing to this increase to inform targeted interventions and prevent deterioration in at-risk patients.
To describe the genomic analysis and epidemiologic response related to a slow and prolonged methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreak.
Prospective observational study.
Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
We conducted an epidemiologic investigation of a NICU MRSA outbreak involving serial baby and staff screening to identify opportunities for decolonization. Whole-genome sequencing was performed on MRSA isolates.
A NICU with excellent hand hygiene compliance and longstanding minimal healthcare-associated infections experienced an MRSA outbreak involving 15 babies and 6 healthcare personnel (HCP). In total, 12 cases occurred slowly over a 1-year period (mean, 30.7 days apart) followed by 3 additional cases 7 months later. Multiple progressive infection prevention interventions were implemented, including contact precautions and cohorting of MRSA-positive babies, hand hygiene observers, enhanced environmental cleaning, screening of babies and staff, and decolonization of carriers. Only decolonization of HCP found to be persistent carriers of MRSA was successful in stopping transmission and ending the outbreak. Genomic analyses identified bidirectional transmission between babies and HCP during the outbreak.
In comparison to fast outbreaks, outbreaks that are “slow and sustained” may be more common to units with strong existing infection prevention practices such that a series of breaches have to align to result in a case. We identified a slow outbreak that persisted among staff and babies and was only stopped by identifying and decolonizing persistent MRSA carriage among staff. A repeated decolonization regimen was successful in allowing previously persistent carriers to safely continue work duties.
As an accelerated cognitive decline frequently heralds onset of severe neuropathological disorders, understanding the source of individual differences in withstanding the onslaught of cognitive ageing may highlight how best cognitive abilities may be retained into advanced age.
Using a population representative sample of 5088 adults aged •50 years from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, we investigated relationships of polygenic predisposition to general cognition with a rate of change in cognition during a 10-year follow-up period. Polygenic predisposition was measured with polygenic scores for general cognition (GC-PGS). Cognition was measured employing tests for verbal memory and semantic fluency.
The average baseline memory score was 11.1 (s.d. = 2.9) and executive function score was 21.5 (s.d. = 5.8). An increase in GC-PGS by one standard deviation (1-s.d.) was associated with a higher baseline verbal memory by an average 0.27 points (95% CI 0.19–0.34, p < 0.001). Similarly, 1-s.d. increase in GC-PGS was associated with a higher semantic fluency score at baseline in the entire sample (β = 0.45, 95% CI 0.27–0.64, p < 0.001). These associations were significant for women and men, and all age groups. Nonetheless, 1-s.d. increase in GC-PGS was not associated with decreases in verbal memory nor semantic fluency during follow-up in the entire sample, as well stratified models by sex and age.
Although common genetic variants associated with general cognition additively are associated with a stable surplus to cognition in adults, a polygenic predisposition to general cognition is not associated with age-related cognitive decline during a 10-year follow-up.
Schizophrenia (SZ), bipolar disorder (BD) and depression (D) run in families. This susceptibility is partly due to hundreds or thousands of common genetic variants, each conferring a fractional risk. The cumulative effects of the associated variants can be summarised as a polygenic risk score (PRS). Using data from the EUropean Network of national schizophrenia networks studying Gene-Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) first episode case–control study, we aimed to test whether PRSs for three major psychiatric disorders (SZ, BD, D) and for intelligent quotient (IQ) as a neurodevelopmental proxy, can discriminate affective psychosis (AP) from schizophrenia-spectrum disorder (SSD).
Participants (842 cases, 1284 controls) from 16 European EU-GEI sites were successfully genotyped following standard quality control procedures. The sample was stratified based on genomic ancestry and analyses were done only on the subsample representing the European population (573 cases, 1005 controls). Using PRS for SZ, BD, D, and IQ built from the latest available summary statistics, we performed simple or multinomial logistic regression models adjusted for 10 principal components for the different clinical comparisons.
In case–control comparisons PRS-SZ, PRS-BD and PRS-D distributed differentially across psychotic subcategories. In case–case comparisons, both PRS-SZ [odds ratio (OR) = 0.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.54–0.92] and PRS-D (OR = 1.31, 95% CI 1.06–1.61) differentiated AP from SSD; and within AP categories, only PRS-SZ differentiated BD from psychotic depression (OR = 2.14, 95% CI 1.23–3.74).
Combining PRS for severe psychiatric disorders in prediction models for psychosis phenotypes can increase discriminative ability and improve our understanding of these phenotypes. Our results point towards the potential usefulness of PRSs in specific populations such as high-risk or early psychosis phases.
Antipsychotic treatment resistance affects up to a third of individuals with schizophrenia. Of those affected, 70–84% are reported to be treatment resistant from the outset. This raises the possibility that the neurobiological mechanisms of treatment resistance emerge before the onset of psychosis and have a neurodevelopmental origin. Neuropsychological investigations can offer important insights into the nature, origin and pathophysiology of treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS), but methodological limitations in a still emergent field of research have obscured the neuropsychological discriminability of TRS. We report on the first systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate neuropsychological differences between TRS patients and treatment-responsive controls across 17 published studies (1864 participants). Five meta-analyses were performed in relation to (1) executive function, (2) general cognitive function, (3) attention, working memory and processing speed, (4) verbal memory and learning, and (5) visual−spatial memory and learning. Small-to-moderate effect sizes emerged for all domains. Similarly to previous comparisons between unselected, drug-naïve and first-episode schizophrenia samples v. healthy controls in the literature, the largest effect size was observed in verbal memory and learning [dl = −0.53; 95% confidence interval (CI) −0.29 to −0.76; z = 4.42; p < 0.001]. A sub-analysis of language-related functions, extracted from across the primary domains, yielded a comparable effect size (dl = −0.53, 95% CI −0.82 to −0.23; z = 3.45; p < 0.001). Manipulating our sampling strategy to include or exclude samples selected for clozapine response did not affect the pattern of findings. Our findings are discussed in relation to possible aetiological contributions to TRS.
A history of childhood adversity is associated with psychotic disorder, with an increase in risk according to the number of exposures. However, it is not known why only some exposed individuals go on to develop psychosis. One possibility is pre-existing polygenic vulnerability. Here, we investigated, in the largest sample of first-episode psychosis (FEP) cases to date, whether childhood adversity and high polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia (SZ-PRS) combine synergistically to increase the risk of psychosis, over and above the effect of each alone.
We assigned a schizophrenia-polygenic risk score (SZ-PRS), calculated from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC2), to all participants in a sample of 384 FEP patients and 690 controls from the case–control component of the EU-GEI study. Only participants of European ancestry were included in the study. A history of childhood adversity was collected using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). Synergistic effects were estimated using the interaction contrast ratio (ICR) [odds ratio (OR)exposure and PRS − ORexposure − ORPRS + 1] with adjustment for potential confounders.
There was some evidence that the combined effect of childhood adversities and polygenic risk was greater than the sum of each alone, as indicated by an ICR greater than zero [i.e. ICR 1.28, 95% confidence interval (CI) −1.29 to 3.85]. Examining subtypes of childhood adversities, the strongest synergetic effect was observed for physical abuse (ICR 6.25, 95% CI −6.25 to 20.88).
Our findings suggest possible synergistic effects of genetic liability and childhood adversity experiences in the onset of FEP, but larger samples are needed to increase precision of estimates.
People with psychosis experience cardiometabolic comorbidities, including metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease and diabetes. These physical comorbidities have been linked to diet, inactivity and the effects of the illness itself, including disorganisation, impairments in global function and amotivation associated with negative symptoms of schizophrenia or co-morbid depression.
We aimed to describe the dietary intake, physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour patterns of a sample of patients with established psychosis participating in the Improving Physical Health and Reducing Substance Use in Severe Mental Illness (IMPaCT) randomised controlled trial, and to explore the relationship between these lifestyle factors and mental health symptomatology.
A majority of participants had poor dietary quality, low in fruit and vegetables and high in discretionary foods. Only 29.3% completed ⩾150 min of moderate and/or vigorous activity per week and 72.2% spent ⩾6 h per day sitting. Cross-sectional associations between negative symptoms, global function, and PA and sedentary behaviour were observed. Additionally, those with more negative symptoms receiving IMPaCT therapy had fewer positive changes in PA from baseline to 12-month follow-up than those with fewer negative symptoms at baseline.
These results highlight the need for the development of multidisciplinary lifestyle and exercise interventions to target eating habits, PA and sedentary behaviour, and the need for further research on how to adapt lifestyle interventions to baseline mental status. Negative symptoms in particular may reduce patient's responses to lifestyle interventions.
People with schizophrenia have shortened lives. This excess mortality seems to be related to physical health conditions that may be amenable to better primary and secondary prevention. Better continuity of care may enhance such interventions as well as help prevent death by self-injury.
We set out to examine the relationship between the continuity of care of patients with schizophrenia, their mortality and cause of death.
Pseudoanonymised community data from 5551 people with schizophrenia presenting over 11 years were examined for changes in continuity of care using the numbers of community teams caring for them and the Modified Modified Continuity Index. These and demographic variables were related to death certifications of physical illness from the Office of National Statistics and mortal self-injury from clinical data. Data were analysed using generalised estimating equations.
We found no independent relationship between levels of continuity of care and overall mortality. However, lower levels of relationship continuity were significantly and independently related to death by self-injury.
We found no evidence that continuity of care is important in the prevention of physical causes of death in schizophrenia. However, there is evidence that declining relationship continuity of care has an independent effect on deaths as a result of self-injury. We suggest that there should be more attention focused on the improvement of continuity of care for these patients.
Psychosis is a major mental illness with first onset in young adults. The prognosis is poor in around half of the people affected, and difficult to predict. The few tools available to predict prognosis have major weaknesses which limit their use in clinical practice. We aimed to develop and validate a risk prediction model of symptom non-remission in first-episode psychosis.
Our development cohort consisted of 1027 patients with first-episode psychosis recruited between 2005 to 2010 from 14 early intervention services across the National Health Service in England. Our validation cohort consisted of 399 patients with first-episode psychosis recruited between 2006 to 2009 from a further 11 English early intervention services. The one-year non-remission rate was 52% and 54% in the development and validation cohorts, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression was used to develop a risk prediction model for non-remission, which was externally validated.
The prediction model showed good discrimination (C-statistic of 0.74 (0.72, 0.76) and adequate calibration with intercept alpha of 0.13 (0.03, 0.23) and slope beta of 0.99 (0.87, 1.12). Our model improved the net-benefit by 16% at a risk threshold of 50%, equivalent to 16 more detected non-remitted first-episode psychosis individuals per 100 without incorrectly classifying remitted cases.
Once prospectively validated, our first episode psychosis prediction model could help identify patients at increased risk of non-remission at initial clinical contact.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) are commonly reported co-occurring mental health consequences of psychological trauma exposure. The disorders have high genetic overlap. Trauma is a complex phenotype but research suggests that trauma sensitivity has a heritable basis. We investigated whether sensitivity to trauma in those with MDD reflects a similar genetic component in those with PTSD.
Genetic correlations between PTSD and MDD in individuals reporting trauma and MDD in individuals not reporting trauma were estimated, as well as with recurrent MDD and single-episode MDD, using genome-wide association study (GWAS) summary statistics. Genetic correlations were replicated using PTSD data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium and the Million Veteran Program. Polygenic risk scores were generated in UK Biobank participants who met the criteria for lifetime MDD (N = 29 471). We investigated whether genetic loading for PTSD was associated with reporting trauma in these individuals.
Genetic loading for PTSD was significantly associated with reporting trauma in individuals with MDD [OR 1.04 (95% CI 1.01–1.07), Empirical-p = 0.02]. PTSD was significantly more genetically correlated with recurrent MDD than with MDD in individuals not reporting trauma (rg differences = ~0.2, p < 0.008). Participants who had experienced recurrent MDD reported significantly higher rates of trauma than participants who had experienced single-episode MDD (χ2 > 166, p < 0.001)
Our findings point towards the existence of genetic variants associated with trauma sensitivity that might be shared between PTSD and MDD, although replication with better powered GWAS is needed. Our findings corroborate previous research highlighting trauma exposure as a key risk factor for recurrent MDD.
Perceived discrimination is associated with worse mental health. Few studies have assessed whether perceived discrimination (i) is associated with the risk of psychotic disorders and (ii) contributes to an increased risk among minority ethnic groups relative to the ethnic majority.
We used data from the European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene-Environment Interactions Work Package 2, a population-based case−control study of incident psychotic disorders in 17 catchment sites across six countries. We calculated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the associations between perceived discrimination and psychosis using mixed-effects logistic regression models. We used stratified and mediation analyses to explore differences for minority ethnic groups.
Reporting any perceived experience of major discrimination (e.g. unfair treatment by police, not getting hired) was higher in cases than controls (41.8% v. 34.2%). Pervasive experiences of discrimination (≥3 types) were also higher in cases than controls (11.3% v. 5.5%). In fully adjusted models, the odds of psychosis were 1.20 (95% CI 0.91–1.59) for any discrimination and 1.79 (95% CI 1.19–1.59) for pervasive discrimination compared with no discrimination. In stratified analyses, the magnitude of association for pervasive experiences of discrimination appeared stronger for minority ethnic groups (OR = 1.73, 95% CI 1.12–2.68) than the ethnic majority (OR = 1.42, 95% CI 0.65–3.10). In exploratory mediation analysis, pervasive discrimination minimally explained excess risk among minority ethnic groups (5.1%).
Pervasive experiences of discrimination are associated with slightly increased odds of psychotic disorders and may minimally help explain excess risk for minority ethnic groups.
Psychosis rates are higher among some migrant groups. We hypothesized that psychosis in migrants is associated with cumulative social disadvantage during different phases of migration.
We used data from the EUropean Network of National Schizophrenia Networks studying Gene-Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) case–control study. We defined a set of three indicators of social disadvantage for each phase: pre-migration, migration and post-migration. We examined whether social disadvantage in the pre- and post-migration phases, migration adversities, and mismatch between achievements and expectations differed between first-generation migrants with first-episode psychosis and healthy first-generation migrants, and tested whether this accounted for differences in odds of psychosis in multivariable logistic regression models.
In total, 249 cases and 219 controls were assessed. Pre-migration (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.06–2.44, p = 0.027) and post-migration social disadvantages (OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.02–3.51, p = 0.044), along with expectations/achievements mismatch (OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.03–1.26, p = 0.014) were all significantly associated with psychosis. Migration adversities (OR 1.18, 95% CI 0.672–2.06, p = 0.568) were not significantly related to the outcome. Finally, we found a dose–response effect between the number of adversities across all phases and odds of psychosis (⩾6: OR 14.09, 95% CI 2.06–96.47, p = 0.007).
The cumulative effect of social disadvantages before, during and after migration was associated with increased odds of psychosis in migrants, independently of ethnicity or length of stay in the country of arrival. Public health initiatives that address the social disadvantages that many migrants face during the whole migration process and post-migration psychological support may reduce the excess of psychosis in migrants.
The clinical course of psychotic disorders is highly variable. Typically, researchers have captured different course types using broad pre-defined categories. However, whether these adequately capture symptom trajectories of psychotic disorders has not been fully assessed. Using data from AESOP-10, we sought to identify classes of individuals with specific symptom trajectories over a 10-year follow-up using a data-driven approach.
AESOP-10 is a follow-up, at 10 years, of 532 incident cases with a first episode of psychosis initially identified in south-east London and Nottingham, UK. Using extensive information on fluctuations in the presence of psychotic symptoms, we fitted growth mixture models to identify latent trajectory classes that accounted for heterogeneity in the patterns of change in psychotic symptoms over time.
We had sufficient data on psychotic symptoms during the follow-up on 326 incident patients. A four-class quadratic growth mixture model identified four trajectories of psychotic symptoms: (1) remitting-improving (58.5%); (2) late decline (5.6%); (3) late improvement (5.4%); (4) persistent (30.6%). A persistent trajectory, compared with remitting-improving, was associated with gender (more men), black Caribbean ethnicity, low baseline education and high disadvantage, low premorbid IQ, a baseline diagnosis of non-affective psychosis and long DUP. Numbers were small, but there were indications that those with a late decline trajectory more closely resembled those with a persistent trajectory.
Our current approach to categorising the course of psychotic disorders may misclassify patients. This may confound efforts to elucidate the predictors of long-term course and related biomarkers.
In Europe, the incidence of psychotic disorder is high in certain migrant and minority ethnic groups (hence: ‘minorities’). However, it is unknown how the incidence pattern for these groups varies within this continent. Our objective was to compare, across sites in France, Italy, Spain, the UK and the Netherlands, the incidence rates for minorities and the incidence rate ratios (IRRs, minorities v. the local reference population).
The European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene–Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) study was conducted between 2010 and 2015. We analyzed data on incident cases of non-organic psychosis (International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition, codes F20–F33) from 13 sites.
The standardized incidence rates for minorities, combined into one category, varied from 12.2 in Valencia to 82.5 per 100 000 in Paris. These rates were generally high at sites with high rates for the reference population, and low at sites with low rates for the reference population. IRRs for minorities (combined into one category) varied from 0.70 (95% CI 0.32–1.53) in Valencia to 2.47 (95% CI 1.66–3.69) in Paris (test for interaction: p = 0.031). At most sites, IRRs were higher for persons from non-Western countries than for those from Western countries, with the highest IRRs for individuals from sub-Saharan Africa (adjusted IRR = 3.23, 95% CI 2.66–3.93).
Incidence rates vary by region of origin, region of destination and their combination. This suggests that they are strongly influenced by the social context.
The value of services for those with the ‘At Risk Mental State for Psychosis’ (ARMS) continues to be disputed. ARMS services have provided a valuable stimulus to academic research into the transition into psychosis. Furthermore, there is currently a welcome trend to transform such clinics into youth mental health services catering for the broader clientele of young people suffering from anxiety and depression, who already constitute the bulk of those seen at ARMS clinics. However, such services are never likely to make major inroads into preventing psychosis because they only reach a small proportion of those at risk. Evidence from medicine shows that avoiding exposure to factors which increase the risk of disease (e.g. poor nutrition, transmission of infection, tobacco smoking), produces greater public benefit than focussing efforts on individuals with, or about to develop, disease. We consider that the most productive approach for psychosis prevention is avoiding exposure to risk-increasing factors. The best-established risk factors for psychosis are obstetric events, childhood abuse, migration, city living, adverse life events and cannabis use. Some as city living, are likely proxies for an unknown causal factor(s) while preventing others such as childhood abuse is currently beyond our powers. The risk factor for psychosis which is most readily open to this approach is the use of cannabis. Therefore, as an initial step towards a strategy for universal primary prevention, we advocate public health campaigns to educate young people about the harms of regular use of high potency cannabis.