Severe mental disorders among offspring of those with same

January 01, 0001

Severe mental disorders among offspring of those with same

These Danish investigators report the results of a population-based cohort study of the risks in offspring of receiving a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, unipolar depressive disorder, or any diagnosis from parents who both have received a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

They found: "The risk of schizophrenia in 270 offspring of 196 parent couples who were both admitted to a psychiatric facility with a diagnosis of schizophrenia was 27.3% (increasing to 39.2% when schizophrenia-related disorders were included) compared with 7.0% in 13,878 offspring from 8006 couples with only 1 parent ever admitted for schizophrenia and 0.86% in 2,239,551 offspring of 1,080,030 couples with neither parent ever admitted. The risk of bipolar disorder was 24.9% in 146 offspring of 83 parent couples who were ever admitted with bipolar disorder (increasing to 36.0% when unipolar depressive disorder was included) compared with 4.4% in 23,152 offspring from 11,995 couples with only 1 parent ever admitted and 0.48% in 2,239,553 offspring of 1 080 030 couples with neither parent ever admitted. Risks of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in offspring of couples with 1 parent with schizophrenia and the other with bipolar disorder were 15.6% and 11.7%, respectively. The maximal risks of any psychiatric disorders in the offspring of parents both with schizophrenia or both with bipolar disorder were 67.5% and 44.2%, respectively."

The authors concluded: "Derived risks may be informative for counseling. Patterns of transmission may support evolving assumptions about genetic overlap for traditional categories."

These are compelling data even though they are not proof of causation.

For the full abstract, click here.

Arch Gen Psychiatry 67(3):252-257, March 2010
© 2010 to the American Medical Association
Severe Mental Disorders in Offspring With 2 Psychiatrically Ill Parents. Irving I. Gottesman, Thomas Munk Laursen, Aksel Bertelsen, Preben Bo Mortensen.

Category: P Psychological. Keywords: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, unipolar disorder, depression, offspring, risk, cohort study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 16 March 2010

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