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Br J Psychiatry. 2018 Jun;212(6):370-376. doi: 10.1192/bjp.2018.23. Epub 2018 Apr 26.

Artistic creativity and risk for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and unipolar depression: a Swedish population-based case-control study and sib-pair analysis.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychiatry,Psychology and Neuroscience,Kings College London,UK.
2
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics,Karolinska Institutet,Stockholm,SwedenandWarneford Hospital,Oxford,UK.
3
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics,Karolinska Institutet,Stockholm,SwedenandAstrid Lindgren Children's Hospital,Karolinska University Hospital,Stockholm,Sweden.
4
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics,Karolinska Institutet,Stockholm,Sweden.
5
School of Medical Sciences,Örebro University,Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Many studies have addressed the question of whether mental disorder is associated with creativity, but high-quality epidemiological evidence has been lacking.AimsTo test for an association between studying a creative subject at high school or university and later mental disorder.

METHOD:

In a case-control study using linked population-based registries in Sweden (N = 4 454 763), we tested for associations between tertiary education in an artistic field and hospital admission with schizophrenia (N = 20 333), bipolar disorder (N = 28 293) or unipolar depression (N = 148 365).

RESULTS:

Compared with the general population, individuals with an artistic education had increased odds of developing schizophrenia (odds ratio = 1.90, 95% CI = [1.69; 2.12]) bipolar disorder (odds ratio = 1.62 [1.50; 1.75]) and unipolar depression (odds ratio = 1.39 [1.34; 1.44]. The results remained after adjustment for IQ and other potential confounders.

CONCLUSIONS:

Students of artistic subjects at university are at increased risk of developing schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and unipolar depression in adulthood.Declaration of interestNone.

PMID:
29697041
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.2018.23

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