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Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common mood disorder, with a heritability of around 34%. Molecular genetic studies made significant progress and identified genetic markers associated with the risk of MDD; however, progress is slowed down by substantial heterogeneity as MDD is assessed differently across international cohorts. Here, we used a standardized online approach to measure MDD in multiple cohorts in the Netherlands and evaluated whether this approach can be used in epidemiological and genetic association studies of depression.
Within the Biobank Netherlands Internet Collaboration (BIONIC) project, we collected MDD data in eight cohorts involving 31 936 participants, using the online Lifetime Depression Assessment Self-report (LIDAS), and estimated the prevalence of current and lifetime MDD in 22 623 unrelated individuals. In a large Netherlands Twin Register (NTR) twin-family dataset (n ≈ 18 000), we estimated the heritability of MDD, and the prediction of MDD in a subset (n = 4782) through Polygenic Risk Score (PRS).
Estimates of current and lifetime MDD prevalence were 6.7% and 18.1%, respectively, in line with population estimates based on validated psychiatric interviews. In the NTR heritability estimates were 0.34/0.30 (s.e. = 0.02/0.02) for current/lifetime MDD, respectively, showing that the LIDAS gives similar heritability rates for MDD as reported in the literature. The PRS predicted risk of MDD (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.15–1.32, R2 = 1.47%).
By assessing MDD status in the Netherlands using the LIDAS instrument, we were able to confirm previously reported MDD prevalence and heritability estimates, which suggests that this instrument can be used in epidemiological and genetic association studies of depression.
Anxiety has been associated with new-onset cardiovascular disease (CVD),
but the quality of this relationship is unclear. Only if anxiety is a
causal, independent cardiovascular risk factor might it be a target for
To determine and examine the independent association and causality
between anxiety and incident CVD.
PubMed, EMBASE and PsycINFO databases were searched up to October 2013. A
review of Hill's criteria for causality and random effects meta-analysis
were conducted of prospective, population-based studies examining anxiety
and incident CVD in people free from CVD at baseline.
The meta-analysis comprised 37 papers (n = 1 565 699).
The follow-up ranged from 1 to 24 years. Anxiety was associated with a
52% increased incidence of CVD (hazard ratio = 1.52, 95% CI 1.36–1.71).
The risk seemed independent of traditional risk factors and depression.
The evaluation of Hill's criteria largely argued in favour of
Anxiety may be of interest for CVD prevention. Future research should
examine biological and behavioural underpinnings of the association in
order to identify targets for intervention.
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