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Int J Eat Disord. 2015 May;48(4):375-82. doi: 10.1002/eat.22280. Epub 2014 Mar 23.

Are there common familial influences for major depressive disorder and an overeating-binge eating dimension in both European American and African American female twins?

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri; Midwest Alcoholism Research Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Although prior studies have demonstrated that depression is associated with an overeating-binge eating dimension (OE-BE) phenotypically, little research has investigated whether familial factors contribute to the co-occurrence of these phenotypes, especially in community samples with multiple racial/ethnic groups. We examined the extent to which familial (i.e., genetic and shared environmental) influences overlapped between Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and OE-BE in a population-based sample and whether these influences were similar across racial/ethnic groups.

METHOD:

Participants included 3,226 European American (EA) and 550 African American (AA) young adult women from the Missouri Adolescent Female Twin Study. An adaptation of the Semi-Structured Assessment for the Genetics of Alcoholism (SSAGA) was administered to assess lifetime DSM-IV MDD and OE-BE. Quantitative genetic modeling was used to estimate familial influences between both phenotypes; all models controlled for age.

RESULTS:

The best-fitting model, which combined racial/ethnic groups, found that additive genetic influences accounted for 44% (95% CI: 34%, 53%) of the MDD variance and 40% (25%, 54%) for OE-BE, with the remaining variances due to non-shared environmental influences. Genetic overlap was substantial (rg  = .61 [.39, .85]); non-shared environmental influences on MDD and OE-BE overlapped weakly (re  = .26 [.09, .42]).

DISCUSSION:

Results suggest that common familial influences underlie MDD and OE-BE, and the magnitude of familial influences contributing to the comorbidity between MDD and OE-BE is similar between EA and AA women. If racial/ethnic differences truly exist, then larger sample sizes may be needed to fully elucidate familial risk for comorbid MDD and OE-BE across these groups.

KEYWORDS:

African American; binge eating; major depression; overeating; race/ethnicity; twins

PMID:
24659561
PMCID:
PMC4278948
DOI:
10.1002/eat.22280
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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