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J Affect Disord. 1999 Apr;53(1):35-48.

Seasonal affective disorder and latitude: a review of the literature.

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1
Department of Biological Psychiatry, University Hospital Groningen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The aim of the study is to investigate the relationship between the prevalence of SAD and latitude.

METHODS:

An overview of the epidemiological literature on the prevalence of SAD is given and studies relevant for the latitudinal dependency of prevalence will be analyzed and discussed.

RESULTS:

The mean prevalence of SAD is two times higher in North America compared to Europe. Over all prevalence studies, the correlation between prevalence and latitude was not significant. A significant positive correlation was found between prevalence and latitude in North America. For Europe there was a trend in the same direction.

CONCLUSIONS:

The influence of latitude on prevalence seems to be small and other factors like climate, genetic vulnerability and social-cultural context can be expected to play a more important role. Additional controlled studies taking these factors into account are necessary to identify their influence.

PMID:
10363665
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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