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Br J Psychiatry Suppl. 1996 Jun;(30):68-75.

Major depression and generalised anxiety disorder. Same genes, (partly)different environments--revisited.

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  • Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298-0710, USA.

Abstract

In both clinical and epidemiological samples, major depression (MD) and generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) display substantial comorbidity. In a prior analysis of lifetime MD and GAD in female twins, the same genetic factors were shown to influence the liability to MD and to GAD. A follow-up interview in the same twin cohort examined one-year prevalence for MD and GAD (diagnosed using a one-month minimum duration of illness). Bivariate twin models were fitted using the program Mx. High levels of comorbidity were observed between MD and GAD. The best-fitting twin models, when GAD was diagnosed with or without a diagnostic hierarchy, found a genetic correlation of unity between the two disorders. The correlation in environmental risk factors was +0.70 when GAD was diagnosed non-hierarchically, but zero when hierarchical diagnoses were used. Our findings provide further support for the hypothesis that in women, MD and GAD are the result of the same genetic factors. Environmental risk factors that predispose to 'pure' GAD episodes may be relatively distinct from those that increase risk for MD.

PMID:
8864151
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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