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Can J Psychiatry. 2002 Mar;47(2):153-8.

Seasonal affective disorders: relevance of Icelandic and Icelandic-Canadian evidence to etiologic hypotheses.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, University of Iceland, Vatnsmýrarvegur 16, IS-101 Reykjavík, Iceland. physicel@hi.is

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study tests the suggestion of earlier studies concerning the importance of genetic factors in the etiology of winter seasonal affective disorders (SADs) and subsyndromal winter SAD (S-SAD).

METHOD:

Two study populations of Winnipeg, Manitoba residents were canvassed: 250 adults of wholly Icelandic descent and 1000 adults of non-Icelandic descent. We distributed the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire by mail to these 2 populations, yielding 204 and 449 valid responses, respectively.

RESULTS:

Rates of SAD and S-SAD proved markedly lower in the Icelandic population than those in the non-Icelandic population.

CONCLUSIONS:

These differences seem unexplained by differences in ambient light or climate, thus indicating that genetic factors contribute to the expression of SADs. Compared with earlier findings from a group of adults of wholly Icelandic descent living in nearby rural Manitoba, the etiologic importance of as-yet-undetermined environmental factors unrelated to latitude or ambient light is also indicated.

PMID:
11926077
DOI:
10.1177/070674370204700205
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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