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Long-term affective disorder in people with mild learning disability

  • Marcus Richards (a1), Barbara Maughan (a2), Rebecca Hardy (a3), Ian Hall (a4), Andre Strydom (a4) and Michael Wadsworth (a3)...

Abstract

Background

Increased risk of affective disorder in learning disability has been reported, although the extent to which this is due to adverse social and material circumstances is uncertain and there have been potential limitations in the measurement of affective disorder.

Aims

To determine risk of affective disorder in those classified with mild learning disability in the British 1946 birth cohort and to investigate whether this risk was accounted for by disadvantage in childhood and adulthood.

Method

Learning disability was defined as the equivalent of an IQ ≤ 69 at age 15 years. The Present State Examination at age 36 years and the Psychiatric Symptom Frequency Scale at age 43 years provided psychiatric outcome measures.

Results

Learning disability was associated with a fourfold increase in risk of affective disorder, not accounted for by social and material disadvantage or by medical disorder.

Conclusions

Learning disability is strongly associated with risk of affective disorder, persisting well into midlife.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Marcus Richards, MRC National Survey of Health and Development, Royal Free and University College Hospital Medical School, University College London, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, 1–19 Torrington Place, London WCIE 6 BT, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 207 679 1737; Fax: +44 (0) 207 813 0280; E-mail: m.richards@ucl.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

Funding was provided by the Medical Research Council.

Footnotes

References

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Long-term affective disorder in people with mild learning disability

  • Marcus Richards (a1), Barbara Maughan (a2), Rebecca Hardy (a3), Ian Hall (a4), Andre Strydom (a4) and Michael Wadsworth (a3)...
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