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Subclinical suspiciousness as a risk factor for depressive episodes

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Objective: Previous studies suggest suspiciousness is associated with an increased risk of major depressive episodes in psychotic patients. We tested the hypothesis that this relationship would extend to nonpsychotic groups.

Method: Data came from the Epidemiological Catchment Area (ECA) study, a longitudinal population-based study conducted at five sites in the United States. Baseline clinical and demographic features were used to predict the onset of episodes of depression at 1-year follow-up in subjects without psychotic symptoms.

Results: Subclinical suspiciousness was associated with an increased risk of new episodes of depression after accounting for demographic variables. However, three of six subclinical delusion-like experiences were also associated with an increased risk of depressive episodes. None of the subclinical hallucination-like experiences predicted subsequent risk.

Conclusion: Subclinical suspiciousness appears to increase the risk of depression in the general population. Some other delusion-like experiences may do the same.

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Keywords: depression; risk factor; suspiciousness

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland

Publication date: 2001-04-01

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