Finnish Prenatal Studies (FIPS)

Principal Investigator

Professor Andre Sourander


There is increasing evidence that prenatal exposures and early development play an important role in the etiology of psychiatric disorders.  Population-based epidemiologic serum and register study FIPS aims at clarifying etiological processes by examining early developmental events in relation to psychiatric disorders. 

Compared to any previous studies, FIPS has far greater statistical power and precision to study rare, but most severe mental disorders. 

Current topics

Finnish Prenatal Studies launched in 2009. The subprojects include studies on infantile autism, schizophrenia, bipolar, major depression, anxiety, eating disorders, OCD, ADHD, Tourette’s syndrome, and antisocial personality disorder.

FIPS is the largest seroepidemiologic study of prenatal exposures in psychiatric disorders using archived prenatal sera, based on the Finnish Maternity Cohort (FMC). The samples were obtained from over 98% of pregnant women in Finland in 1983-2007 (1.5 million pregnancies) during the first trimester.

Serum samples are used to examine prenatal exposures, i.e. infections, mother’s hormonal activity and substance use during pregnancy.  Laboratory work is performed at the National Prenatal Serology Laboratory in Oulu, Finland.

Comprehensive national register data and clinical records from maternity and well-baby clinics containing information on pregnancy, perinatal and neonatal complications, congenital malformations, growth and development and history of mental disorders in family members are collected and linked at the University of Turku to the serologically documented prenatal exposures.

The cases are identified from the Finnish inpatient and outpatient psychiatric registries. Matched controls are selected from the Population Register.

The majority of Finnish municipalities have given their valuable contribution to the data acquisition.


Jukka Huttunen, Terja Ristkari

Senior scientists/Post docs
Professor Mika Gissler, David Gyllenberg, Päivi Polo

PhD students
Roshan Chudal, Petteri Joelsson, Elina Jokiranta, Katja Lampi, Susanna Leivonen, Dan Sucksdorff

Susanna Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, Auli Suominen, Juha-Pekka Virtanen

Selected publications

Lampi KM, Banerjee PN, Gissler M, Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki S, Huttunen J, Kulmala U, Lindroos J, Niemelä S, Rihko M, Ristkari T, Saanakorpi K, Sarlin T, Sillanmäki L, McKeague IW, Surcel HM, Helenius H, Brown AS, Sourander A. Finnish prenatal study of autism and autism spectrum disorders (FIPS-A): Overview and design. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 2011; 41(8):1090-1096.

Chudal R, Sucksdorff D, Suominen A, Lehti V, Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki S, Huttunen J, Ristkari T, Gissler M, McKeague IW, Brown AS, Sourander A. Finnish Prenatal Study of Bipolar Disorders (FIPS-B): overview, design and description of the sample. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry 2014; 68(3)169-179. . IF 1.307

Chudal R, Sourander A, Polo-Kantola P, Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki S, Lehti V, Sucksdorff D, Gissler M, Brown AS. Perinatal factors and the risk of bipolar disorder in Finland. Journal of Affective Disorders 2014; 155:75-80. IF 3.856

Lampi KM, Lehtonen L, Tran PL, Suominen A, Lehti V, Banerjee PN, Gissler M, Brown AS, Sourander A. Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Low Birth Weight and Small for Gestational Age Infants. The Journal of Pediatrics 2012; 161(5):830-836.

Jokiranta E, Brown AS, Heinimaa M, Cheslack-Postava K, Suominen A, Sourander A. Parental psychiatric disorders and autism spectrum disorders. Psychiatry Research 2013; 207(3):203-211.

Chudal R, Gissler M, Sucksdorff D, Lehti V, Suominen A, Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki S, Bown AS, Sourander A. Parental Age and the Risk of Bipolar Disorders. Bipolar Disorders 2014 Feb 6. doi: 10.1111/bdi.12182. [Epub ahead of print] IF 5.481