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Cross-sectional studies suggest that the serotonin transporter promoter region polymorphism (5-HTT gene-linked polymorphic region, 5HTTLPR) moderates the relationship between childhood abuse and major depressive disorder.
To examine whether the 5HTTLPR polymorphism moderates the effect childhood abuse has on 5-year depressive symptom severity trajectories in adulthood.
At 5-year follow-up, DNA from 333 adult primary care attendees was obtained and genotyped for the 5HTTLPR polymorphism. Linear mixed models were used to test for a genotype × childhood abuse interaction effect on 5-year depressive symptom severity trajectories.
After covariate adjustment, homozygous s allele carriers with a history of severe childhood abuse had significantly greater depressive symptom severity at baseline compared with those without a history of severe childhood abuse and this effect persisted throughout the 5-year period of observation.
The 5HTTLPR s/s genotype robustly moderates the effects of severe childhood abuse on depressive symptom severity trajectories in adulthood.
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