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Br J Psychiatry Suppl. 2002 Sep;43:s19-25.

Family history of psychiatric disorders and age at first contact in schizophrenia: an epidemiological study.

Author information

  • 1National Centre for Register-Based Research, Aarhus University, Taasingegade 1, Aarhus 8000 C, Denmark. mb@ncrr.dk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The risk for schizophrenia has been associated with a family history of this and other psychiatric disorders. The relationship between age at first contact and family history of psychiatric illness is not certain.

AIMS:

To estimate the risks for schizophrenia associated with a range of psychiatric diagnoses in family members and to investigate the relationship between these risks and age at first contact for schizophrenia.

METHOD:

A nested case-control study design was employed. Psychiatric admission data and socio-economic data were available for 7704 cases admitted between 1981 and 1998 in Denmark, 192,590 gender- and age-matched controls, and for the parents and siblings of all subjects.

RESULTS:

Controlling for socio-economic factors, risk for schizophrenia was associated with a family history of all psychiatric disorders except substance misuse and independently with a family history of suicide. The risk for schizophrenia associated with a family history of psychiatric disorders decreased as age at first contact increased.

CONCLUSIONS:

Risk for schizophrenia is associated with a range of psychiatric disorders in family members and these risks are not constant across the risk period.

PMID:
12271795
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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