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Familiality of major depressive disorder and gender differences in comorbidity

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Verhagen M, van der Meij A, Franke B, Vollebergh W, de Graaf R, Buitelaar J, Janzing JG. Familiality of major depressive disorder and gender differences in comorbidity. Objective: 

Gender differences exist in the prevalence and psychiatric comorbidity of major depressive disorder (MDD). This study investigates whether familiality of MDD contributes to observed gender differences in comorbidity. Method: 

Familial (f-MDD) and non-familial (nf-MDD) MDD cases from a population sample were assessed for comorbid dysthymia, anxiety disorders and alcohol-related disorders using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the effect of f-MDD on gender differences in comorbidity, adjusted for confounders. Results: 

Women with f-MDD reported significantly more comorbid dysthymia and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) than their male counterparts; women with nf-MDD reported significantly more comorbid simple phobias and agoraphobia than their male counterparts. Gender differences in comorbid panic disorder and alcohol-related disorders occurred independently of the familial load. Adjustment for age of onset, severity and recurrence of MDD did not change these results. Conclusion: 

Models to explain comorbidity patterns of MDD differ by gender. Familiality of MDD should be taken into account.

Keywords: NEMESIS; comorbidity; depressive disorder; familiality; gender

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen 2: Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction

Publication date: 2008-08-01

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