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Among the most disabling and fatal psychiatric illnesses, eating disorders (EDs) often manifest early in life, which encourages investigations into in utero and perinatal environmental risk factors. The objective of this study was to determine whether complications during pregnancy and birth and perinatal conditions are associated with later eating disorder risk in offspring and whether these associations are unique to EDs.
All individuals born in Denmark to Danish-born parents 1989–2010 were included in the study and followed from their 6th birthday until the end of 2016. Exposure to factors related to pregnancy, birth, and perinatal conditions was determined using national registers, as were hospital-based diagnoses of anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa, and eating disorder not otherwise specified during follow-up. For comparison, diagnoses of depressive, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders were also included. Cox regression was used to compare hazards of psychiatric disorders in exposed and unexposed individuals.
1 167 043 individuals were included in the analysis. We found that similar to the comparison disorders, prematurity was associated with increased eating disorder risk. Conversely, patterns of increasing risks of EDs, especially in AN, with increasing parental ages differed from the more U-shaped patterns observed for depressive and anxiety disorders.
Our results suggest that pregnancy and early life are vulnerable developmental periods when exposures may influence offspring mental health, including eating disorder risk, later in life. The results suggest that some events pose more global transdiagnostic risk whereas other patterns, such as increasing parental ages, appear more specific to EDs.
Somatic diseases have been associated with an increased risk for subsequent schizophrenia; however, it is unknown whether prior somatic diseases negatively affect early treatment outcomes after a first-time schizophrenia diagnosis.
We included all individuals born in Denmark after January 1st, 1977 and first-time diagnosed with schizophrenia between January 1st, 1996 and December 31st, 2015. We identified all life-time somatic hospital contacts and all prescriptions within the year before the first-time schizophrenia diagnosis and followed patients for up to five years regarding risk for schizophrenia (re)-hospitalization (relapse). We performed Cox regression analyses calculating hazard rate ratios (HRR) including 95%-confidence intervals (CI) and adjusted for relevant confounders.
We followed a total of 11,856 patients with a first-time schizophrenia diagnosis (58.7% male, mean age 23.1 (SD = 4.7) years) for 39,033 person-years, whereof 5506 (46.4%) had relapse with schizophrenia re-hospitalization during 5-year of follow-up. Somatic hospital contacts ever before (95.4%; HRR = 1.30; 95%-CI = 1.07–1.59), and specifically during the year before schizophrenia diagnosis (42.5%; HRR = 1.36; 95%-CI = 1.11–1.66) were associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia relapse as were a greater number of prior somatic hospital contacts (p < 0.001). Individuals with up to four different prescriptions for somatic medications showed a trend towards a slightly lower risk of relapse.
Somatic diseases and health seeking patterns might have an impact on the course of schizophrenia, where severe somatic comorbidity, specifically during the year before first-time schizophrenia diagnosis, seem to negatively affect early treatment course, whereas previous somatic medication use may indicate a better compliance and help-seeking behavior.
Prior studies have indicated that both high and low school grades are associated with development of bipolar disorder (BD), but these studies have not adjusted for parental history of mental disorder, which is a likely confounder. Furthermore, the association between school grades and bipolar I disorder (BD-I) has not been studied. Therefore, we aimed to study the association between school exam grades and subsequent development of BD and BD-I while adjusting for parental history of mental disorder.
We conducted a register-based nationwide cohort study following 505 688 individuals born in Denmark between 1987 and 1995. We investigated the association between school exam grades and development of BD or BD-I with a Cox model adjusting for family history of mental disorder and other potential confounders.
During follow-up, 900 individuals were diagnosed with BD and 277 of these with BD-I. The risk for BD and BD-I was significantly increased for individuals not having completed the exams at term [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) for BD (aHR=1.71, 95% CI: 1.43–2.04) and for BD-I (aHR=1.57, 95% CI: 1.13–2.19)]. Also, having low exam grades in mathematics was associated with increased risk of both BD (aHR=2.41, 95% CI: 1.27–4.59) and BD-I (aHR=2.71, 95% CI: 1.41–5.21). Females with very high exam grades in Danish (percentile group>97.7) had a significantly increased risk of BD-I (aHR=2.49, 95% CI: 1.19–5.23).
The potential to develop BD seems to affect the school results of individuals negatively even before BD is diagnosed – with females having the potential to develop BD-I as a possible exception.
Clinical and population-based studies report increased prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in individuals with anorexia nervosa and in their relatives. No nationwide study has yet been published on co-occurrence of these disorders.
To investigate comorbidity of ASD in individuals with anorexia nervosa, and aggregation of ASD and anorexia nervosa in their relatives.
In Danish registers we identified all individuals born in 1981–2008, their parents, and full and half siblings, and linked them to data on hospital admissions for psychiatric disorders.
Risk of comorbidity of ASD in probands with anorexia nervosa and aggregation of ASD in families of anorexia nervosa probands were increased. However, the risk of comorbid and familial ASD did not differ significantly from comorbid and familial major depression or any psychiatric disorder in anorexia nervosa probands.
We confirm aggregation of ASD in probands with anorexia nervosa and in their relatives; however, the relationship between anorexia nervosa and ASD appears to be non-specific.
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