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Nord J Psychiatry. 2007;61(3):219-24.

Somatization symptoms in young adult Finnish population--associations with sex, educational level and mental health.

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Department of Psychiatry, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland.


We assessed somatization symptoms and their associations among a 31-year-old Finnish population sample (n=1598). Data on somatization symptoms were gathered from a review of all medical public outpatient records. Subjects with four or more somatization symptoms according to the DSM-III-R criteria were classified as somatizers. Ninety-seven (83 females) DSM-III-R somatizers (6.1%) were found. Somatization associated with female sex, lower educational level and increased psychiatric morbidity. Roughly half of the somatizers had a comorbid psychiatric disorder. Mood disorders did not associate specifically with somatization--in fact, after adjusting for sex and educational level only anxiety disorders and personality disorders associated with somatization. It may be concluded that it is important to recognize psychiatric disorders in subjects with somatization symptoms, especially as these symptoms have been shown to be treatable with both psychotherapy and psychiatric medication.

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