What is the genetic relationship between anxiety and depression?
ABSTRACT Anxiety and depression share a long, close history in psychiatric nosology and treatment. The anxiety disorders, individually and as a group, exhibit remarkably high rates of comorbidity with each other and with major depression. Analyses done in large-scale epidemiologic surveys have identified major patterns of phenomenological overlap between these conditions. Researchers have tested hypotheses of shared genetic etiologies as a potential basis of this relationship. In general, available family studies have found mixed evidence for co-aggregation of anxiety and depressive disorders, while twin studies more definitively indicate that shared genetic risk factors largely account for this comorbidity. Some of this appears to be accounted for by genetic variation in personality traits that broadly predispose to anxiety and depression. Molecular genetic studies of these conditions, though too early to draw firm conclusions, thus far provide tentative support for specific genetic loci that may generally influence susceptibility across the anxiety-depressive spectrum.
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ABSTRACT: Background The post-pubertal association of female gender with emotional disorder is a robust finding. However, studies exploring the association of gender and emotional disorders before puberty are few and present diverging results. The aim of this study was to present gender-specific incidence rates of emotional disorders throughout childhood.Method This is a population-based cohort study of 907 806 Danish 3- to 18-year-olds. The outcome was assignment of an emotional disorder diagnosis based on in-patient and out-patient data from The Danish Psychiatric Central Register. Outcome measures were incidence rates and cumulative incidences for unipolar depressive disorder (ICD-10: F32-F33), anxiety disorders (ICD-10: F40-F42), and emotional disorders with onset specific to childhood (ICD-10: F93).Results Pre-pubertal incidence rates for depressive and anxiety disorders were higher for boys than girls. At age 12 years the pattern reversed. The cumulative incidence for any emotional disorder (F32-F33, F40-F42, F93) on the 11th birthday was 0.52% (95% CI 0.50-0.55) for boys and 0.31% (95% CI 0.29-0.33) for girls. On the 19th birthday cumulative incidence was 2.33% (95% CI 2.24-2.43) for boys and 3.77% (95% CI 3.64-3.90) for girls. The pre-pubertal male preponderance was also significant for depressive disorders (F32-F33, p = 0.00144) and anxiety disorders (F40-F42, F93, p < 0.00001) separately.Conclusions Emotional disorders seem to display a male preponderance before the age of 12 years and a female preponderance thereafter. Studies exploring this gender-age interaction are needed. Still, the results question the general assumption that females throughout the lifespan are more at risk for emotional disorders than males.Psychological Medicine 08/2014; 45(04):1-11. DOI:10.1017/S0033291714001901 · 5.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background. The classification of anxiety and depressive disorders has long been debated and has important clinical implications. The present study combined a genetically sensitive design and multiple time points to investigate cognitive content specificity in anxiety and depressive disorder symptoms across anxiety sensitivity dimensions, a cognitive distortion implicated in both disorders. Method. Phenotypic and genetic correlations between anxiety sensitivity dimensions, anxiety and depressive disorder symptoms were examined at five waves of data collection within childhood, adolescence and early adulthood in two representative twin studies (n pairs=300 and 1372). Results. The physical concerns dimension of anxiety sensitivity (fear of bodily symptoms) was significantly associated with anxiety but not depression at all waves. Genetic influences on physical concerns overlapped substantially more with anxiety than depression. Conversely, mental concerns (worry regarding cognitive control) were phenotypically more strongly associated with depression than anxiety. Social concerns (fear of publicly observable symptoms of anxiety) were associated with both anxiety and depression in adolescence. Genetic influences on mental and social concerns were shared to a similar extent with both anxiety and depression. Conclusions. Phenotypic patterns of cognitive specificity and broader genetic associations between anxiety sensitivity dimensions, anxiety and depressive disorder symptoms were similar at all waves. Both disorder-specific and shared cognitive concerns were identified, suggesting it is appropriate to classify anxiety and depression as distinct but related disorders and confirming the clinical perspective that cognitive therapy is most likely to benefit by targeting cognitive concerns relating specifically to the individual's presenting symptoms across development.Psychological Medicine 04/2014; 44(16):1-12. DOI:10.1017/S0033291714000828 · 5.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: It is important for prevention efforts and for designing appropriate interventions to identify people at risk of depression while considering cognitive coping and individual characteristics. This study with 334 French adults examined the ways in which people may combine the use of several cognitive coping strategies and investigated whether depression, self-esteem, and state- and trait-anxiety would differ across distinctive cognitive coping profiles. A two-phased cluster analytic plan was employed to derive clusters of cognitive coping profiles. We identified three profiles that differed according to the levels of depression, self-esteem, and state- and trait-anxiety. Research should therefore not focus on a single cognitive coping strategy, but on all cognitive coping strategies that are used simultaneously to investigate the relation between cognitive coping and emotional problems. Cognitive coping profiles provided a deeper understanding of how different individuals cope with negative and unpleasant events, and they allowed us to identify targeted groups that are most likely to benefit from specific mental health promotion and prevention campaigns.Personality and Individual Differences 09/2013; 55(5). DOI:10.1016/j.paid.2013.04.017 · 1.86 Impact Factor