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Heritability of major depression similar in twin, full/half-full siblings

09 Nov 2018
Male twins live longer than female twins

Monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs and full/half-siblings reared together and apart show similar heritability of major depression, according to a recent study. In addition, heritability is greater in women than in men, with the two sexes sharing most but not all genetic risk factors.

The heritability of major depression in men and women was estimated at 0.41 (95 percent CI, 0.21–0.49) and 0.49 (0.31–0.56) in the twin design, respectively. In the independent full/half-sibling design, estimates were 0.36 (0.31–0.38) and 0.51 (0.51–0.53), respectively. The best estimate of the association in genetic effects across sexes was 0.89 (0.87–0.91).

Evidence of modest shared environmental effects (0.02–0.05) was also seen in the findings. Of the eight indices of genetic risk examined, seven predicted the risk for major depression in relatives, with stronger effects in those more closely related. The strongest indices were as follows: early age at onset, recurrence, comorbid anxiety disorder and measures of clinical severity.

“In affected individuals, genetic risk for major depression could be meaningfully assessed from commonly available clinical indices,” the investigators said.

In this study, all treated cases of major depression in Sweden recorded in inpatients, specialist and primary care registries were examined. The aetiologic role of genetic and environmental factors from monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs and full/half-siblings reared together and apart (n=1,718,863 pairs) was estimated using OpenMx. Finally, the investigators examined eight indices of genetic risk in 875,010 proband-relative pairs.

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Most Read Articles
Roshini Claire Anthony, 5 days ago

Individuals with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis may reap better long-term improvements in the severity of their condition when treated with guselkumab over secukinumab, according to findings of the phase III ECLIPSE* trial presented at the recent Inflammatory Skin Disease Summit (ISDS 2018) held in Vienna, Austria.

Jairia Dela Cruz, 11 Jan 2019
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Discontinuing the use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in the treatment of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia appears to be feasible in real-life clinical practice in the context of close molecular monitoring, a study reports.
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There appears to be no clear link between pornography use, even at problematic levels, and erectile dysfunction, a recent US study has shown.