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J Pers Disord. 2011 Oct;25(5):620-33. doi: 10.1521/pedi.2011.25.5.620.

Growth in infancy and childhood and hospitalization for personality disorders in adulthood: the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study.

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  • 1Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Siltavuorenpenger 1A, PO Box 9, FI 00014, University of Helsinki, Finland.


This study examined the associations between infant and childhood growth and severe personality disorders. Among 4,689 men and 4,200 women of the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study 1934-1944, 81 men and 68 women had been hospitalized with an ICD (-8, -9, -10) diagnosis of personality disorder in adulthood. Among men, slower gain in BMI between birth and 6 months, faster gain in weight and BMI between 6 months and 1 year, and slower gains in them between 7 and 11 years of age predicted an increased risk of hospitalization for personality disorders. Thinness at 6 months and again at 11 years also showed significant association with personality disorders among men. Among women, slower gain in height between 2 and 7 years predicted hospitalization for personality disorders. Our findings show the importance of early growth as a vulnerability factor of personality disorders severe enough to justify hospitalization.

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