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Previous research indicates that body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is associated with risk of suicidality. However, studies have relied on small and/or specialist samples and largely focussed on adults, despite these difficulties commonly emerging in youth. Furthermore, the aetiology of the relationship remains unknown.
Two independent twin samples were identified through the Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden, at ages 18 (N = 6027) and 24 (N = 3454). Participants completed a self-report measure of BDD symptom severity. Young people and parents completed items assessing suicidal ideation/behaviours. Logistic regression models tested the association of suicidality outcomes with: (a) probable BDD, classified using an empirically derived cut-off; and (b) continuous scores of BDD symptoms. Bivariate genetic models examined the aetiology of the association between BDD symptoms and suicidality at both ages.
Suicidal ideation and behaviours were common among those with probable BDD at both ages. BDD symptoms, measured continuously, were linked with all aspects of suicidality, and associations generally remained significant after adjusting for depressive and anxiety symptoms. Genetic factors accounted for most of the covariance between BDD symptoms and suicidality (72.9 and 77.7% at ages 18 and 24, respectively), but with significant non-shared environmental influences (27.1 and 22.3% at ages 18 and 24, respectively).
BDD symptoms are associated with a substantial risk of suicidal ideation and behaviours in late adolescence and early adulthood. This relationship is largely explained by common genetic liability, but non-shared environmental effects are also significant and could provide opportunities for prevention among those at high-risk.
The number of clinical trials in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) has steadily increased in recent years. As the number of studies grows, it is important to define the most empirically useful definitions for response and remission in order to enhance field-wide consistency and comparisons of treatment outcomes across studies. In this study, we aim to operationally define treatment response and remission in BDD.
We pooled data from three randomized controlled trials of cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) for BDD (combined n = 153) conducted at four academic sites in Sweden, the USA, and England. Using signal detection methods, we examined the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale modified for BDD (BDD–YBOCS) score that most reliably identified patients who responded to CBT and those who achieved remission from BDD symptoms at the end of treatment.
A BDD–YBOCS reduction ⩾30% was most predictive of treatment response as defined by the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) – Improvement scale (sensitivity 0.89, specificity 0.91, 91% correctly classified). At post-treatment, a BDD–YBOCS score ⩽16 was the best predictor of full or partial symptom remission (sensitivity 0.85, specificity 0.99, 97% correctly classified), defined by the CGI – Severity scale.
Based on these results, we propose conceptual and operational definitions of response and full or partial remission in BDD. A consensus regarding these constructs will improve the interpretation and comparison of future clinical trials, as well as improve communication among researchers, clinicians, and patients. Further research is needed, especially regarding definitions of full remission, recovery, and relapse.
Causes of the comorbidity of substance misuse with anxiety-related and depressive disorders (anxiety/depression) remain poorly known. We estimated associations of substance misuse and anxiety/depression in the general population and tested them while accounting for genetic and shared environmental factors.
We studied individuals born in Sweden 1968–1997 (n = 2 996 398) with follow-up in nationwide register data for 1997–2013. To account for familial effects, stratified analyses were conducted within siblings and twin pairs. Substance misuse was defined as ICD-10 alcohol or drug use disorder or an alcohol/drug-related criminal conviction. Three dimensions of ICD-10 anxiety and depressive disorders and a substance misuse dimension were identified through exploratory factor analysis.
Substance misuse was associated with a 4.5-fold (95% CI 4.50–4.58) elevated risk of lifetime generalized anxiety/depression, 4.7-fold (95% CI 4.63–4.82) elevated risk of panic disorder and agora/social phobia, and 2.9-fold elevated risk of phobias/OCD (95% CI 2.82–3.02) as compared to those without substance misuse. The associations were attenuated in within-family analyses but we found elevated risks in monozygotic twin pairs discordant for substance misuse as well as significant non-shared environmental correlations. The association between anxiety/depression and substance misuse was mainly driven by generalized anxiety/depression, whereas other anxiety/depression dimensions had minor or no independent associations with substance misuse.
Substance misuse and anxiety/depression are associated at the population level, and these associations are partially explained by familial liabilities. Our findings indicate a common genetic etiology but are also compatible with a potential partially causal relationship between substance misuse and anxiety/depression.
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) usually begins during adolescence but little is known about the prevalence, etiology, and patterns of comorbidity in this age group. We investigated the prevalence of BDD symptoms in adolescents and young adults. We also report on the relative importance of genetic and environmental influences on BDD symptoms, and the risk for co-existing psychopathology.
Prevalence of BDD symptoms was determined by a validated cut-off on the Dysmorphic Concerns Questionnaire (DCQ) in three population-based twin cohorts at ages 15 (n = 6968), 18 (n = 3738), and 20–28 (n = 4671). Heritability analysis was performed using univariate model-fitting for the DCQ. The risk for co-existing psychopathology was expressed as odds ratios (OR).
The prevalence of clinically significant BDD symptoms was estimated to be between 1 and 2% in the different cohorts, with a significantly higher prevalence in females (1.3–3.3%) than in males (0.2–0.6%). The heritability of body dysmorphic concerns was estimated to be 49% (95% CI 38–54%) at age 15, 39% (95% CI 30–46) at age 18, and 37% (95% CI 29–42) at ages 20–28, with the remaining variance being due to non-shared environment. ORs for co-existing neuropsychiatric and alcohol-related problems ranged from 2.3 to 13.2.
Clinically significant BDD symptoms are relatively common in adolescence and young adulthood, particularly in females. The low occurrence of BDD symptoms in adolescent boys may indicate sex differences in age of onset and/or etiological mechanisms. BDD symptoms are moderately heritable in young people and associated with an increased risk for co-existing neuropsychiatric and alcohol-related problems.
Hypochondriasis, characterised by severe health anxiety, is a common
condition associated with functional disability. Cognitive–behavioural
therapy (CBT) is an effective but not widely disseminated treatment for
hypochondriasis. Internet-based CBT, including guidance in the form of
minimal therapist contact via email, could be a more accessible
treatment, but no study has investigated internet-based CBT for
To investigate the efficacy of internet-based CBT for
A randomised controlled superiority trial with masked assessment
comparing internet-based CBT (n = 40) over 12 weeks with
an attention control condition (n = 41) for people with
hypochondriasis. The primary outcome measure was the Health Anxiety
Inventory. This trial is registrated with ClinicalTrials.gov
Participants receiving internet-based CBT made large and superior
improvements compared with the control group on measures of health
anxiety (between-group Cohen's d range 1.52–1.62).
Internet-based CBT is an efficacious treatment for hypochondriasis that
has the potential to increase accessibility and availability of CBT for