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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1994 Feb;89(2):135-41.

A typological model of schizophrenia based on age at onset, sex and familial morbidity.

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Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom.


We investigated the age at onset distributions of schizophrenia in men and women and the relationship of age at onset and sex to the familial rates of schizophrenia and manic-depression in data from a Swedish family study of 270 schizophrenic probands. On the logarithmic scale, the age at onset distribution of schizophrenia in both male and female relatives was bimodal, suggesting that broadly defined schizophrenia may be a mixture of 2 (probably related) disorders. The risk of schizophrenia in relatives decreased as a function of the age at onset of the proband, irrespective of the sex of the proband or relative. In contrast, the risk of manic-depression was significantly higher in relatives of female probands with an age at onset in the twenties than in relatives of female probands with earlier or later onset, or in relatives of male probands. This suggests a third disorder related to affective psychosis, with an intermediate age at onset and female preponderance.

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