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Previous studies have looked at the structure of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using latent class analysis (LCA) of Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) symptom structure. These studies have identified distinct classes of children with inattentive, hyperactive, or combined subtypes and have used these classes to refine genetic analyses. The objective of the current report is to determine if the latent class structure of ADHD subtypes is consistent across informant using the Conners' Rating Scales (CRS). LCA was applied to CRS forms from mother, father, and teacher reports of 1837, 1329 and 1048 latency aged Dutch twins, respectively. The optimal solution for boys was a 5-class solution for mothers, a 3-class solution for fathers, and a 4-class solution for teachers. For girls, a 4-class solution for mothers and a 3-class for fathers and teachers was optimal. Children placed into a class by one informant had markedly increased odds ratio of being placed into the same or similar class by the other informants. Results from LCA using Dutch twins with the CRS show stability across informants suggesting that more stable phenotypes may be accessible for genotyping using a multi-informant approach.
The objective of this study was to determine if mothers' retrospective reports about events in their pregnancies with twins are reliable and stable. Six hundred and twenty-four mothers completed psychiatric interviews about their twins. These interviews also contained questions about the mothers' pregnancies, the perinatal period, and the child's early development. The mothers reported first on one twin and then on the other with interviews spaced from 3 days to 2 weeks apart. Thus mothers reported on the same pregnancy twice. Of these mothers, 47 were re-interviewed 6 to 18 months later by raters blind to the results of the initial interview. The twin design allowed us to compare the short-term reliability of the 624 mothers' reports of the same pregnancy. The re-interview of the 47 mothers enabled us to compare the stability of reports over a longer time period. Agreement between the reports was measured with the kappa statistic. Kappas were good to excellent for the short-term reports of pregnancy for each twin for the 624 mothers. Kappas were equally high for the 47 mothers that were re-interviewed 6 to 18 months later. Mothers show good reliability and stability of reporting about events during pregnancy.
The prevalence and frequency of comorbidity of possible bipolar disorder was examined with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a nonreferred population of twins. Children and adolescents aged 7 to 18 years with a history of manic symptoms were identified from a population-based twin sample obtained from state birth records (n = 1610). The sample was enriched for ADHD; however, there was also a random control sample (n = 466), which allowed a look at the population prevalence of the disorder. Juveniles with threshold or below threshold manic episodes were further assessed for comorbidity with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) and population-defined ADHD subtypes (from latent class analysis) using Fisher's exact test. Nine juveniles who exhibited DSM-IV manic (n = 1), hypomanic (n = 2) or below threshold episodes (n = 6) were identified. The population prevalence of broadly defined mania in the random sample was 0.2%. The possible manic episodes showed significant comorbidity with population-defined severe combined and talkative ADHD subtypes. It can be concluded that there is a significant association of bipolar symptoms with two population-defined subtypes of ADHD. Episodes of possible bipolar disorders as defined by DSM-IV are uncommon in this nonreferred sample. Children and adolescents with ADHD appear to be only modestly at increased risk for bipolar disorders.
Retrospective assessment of maternal smoking or substance use during pregnancy is sometimes unavoidable. The unusually close relationship of twin sister pairs permits comparison of self-report data versus co-twin informant data on substance use during pregnancy. Information about smoking during pregnancy has been gathered from a series of mothers from an Australian volunteer twin panel (576 women reporting on 995 pregnancies), supplemented in many cases by independent ratings of their smoking by twin sister informants (821 pregnancies). Estimates of the proportion of women who had never smoked regularly (56–58%), who had smoked but did not smoke during a particular pregnancy (16–21%), or who smoked throughout the pregnancy (16–18%), were in good agreement whether based on selfreport or twin sister informant data. However, informants underreported cases who smoked during the first trimester but then quit (1–3% versus 7–9% by self-report). Women who smoked throughout pregnancy (by informant report) rarely denied a history of regular smoking (< 1%), although a small proportion of apparent false negative cases were identified where they either denied smoking during a pregnancy (9%) or denied smoking beyond the first trimester (10%). We conclude that retrospective smoking data can safely be used to identify potential associations of later child outcomes with maternal smoking during pregnancy.
The goal of this study is to determine the prevalence and age of onset of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSMIV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) and latent class-derived attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) subtypes in a population-based twin sample of boys and girls. Missouri birth records identified families with a twin pair 7 to 18 years of age. Telephone screening interviews for ADHD symptoms were completed for 5007 families. Diagnostic assessments were administered to 564 families with at least one twin meeting screening criteria, plus 183 control families. Prevalence and age of onset for both ADHD nosologies were calculated by sex and zygosity from parent report data. The prevalence of any DSM-IV ADHD was 6.2% overall, 7.4% in boys and 3.9% in girls. The inattentive subtype was most common in boys; the combined subtype was most common in girls. The mean age of onset of symptoms in children with any DSM-IV ADHD was 3.5 years, with no significant differences between boys and girls. Prevalences of latent class defined ADHD subtypes also varied by sex with the severe inattentive and combined classes more common in boys than girls. The age of onset of symptoms did not differ between boys and girls but were higher than in the DSM-IV subtypes. Findings in this twin sample showed that clinically significant ADHD, defined by either DSM-IV or latent class criterion, has an early age of onset and is more common in boys than girls. As clinical samples are most commonly composed of male combined subtypes, the inattentive subtype of both sexes in the general population is an under- treated segment of the general population.
Alcohol abuse and dependence are among the most common psychiatric conditions identified in epidemiological surveys of the general population. The aim of this article is to examine the psychometric properties of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (4th ed.; DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) criteria for alcohol abuse and dependence using latent class analysis (LCA). Six thousand two hundred and sixty-five young Australian twins (median age 30 years) were interviewed by telephone between 1996 and 2000 using a modified version of the Semi-Structured Assessment for the Genetics of Alcoholism (SSAGA). DSM-IV symptoms of alcohol abuse and dependence were collected by structured diagnostic interview and analyzed using methods of LCA. LCA revealed a 4-class solution for women that classified individuals according to the severity of their alcohol- related problems: no/few problems (66.5%), heavy drinking (23.9%), moderate dependence (7.6%) and severe dependence (2.0%). Among men the preferred solution included 5 classes corresponding to no/few problems (46.4%), heavy drinking (34.3%), moderate dependence (12.2%), severe dependence (3.0%) and abuse (4.0%). Evidence of a male-specific class of alcohol-related problems corresponding to abuse partially supports the DSM conceptualization of alcohol use disorders but suggests that this conceptualization — and measurement — may need to be refined for women. Identification of a male- specific abuse class also has important implications for interventions and treatment as these individuals experienced significant alcohol-related problems and comprised approximately 21% of all men classified with an alcohol use disorder.
Previous studies have reported that the current DSM-IV eating disorder (ED) criteria do not adequately describe ED symptomatology. The objective of the current study was to examine the clustering of ED symptoms in a general population sample using latent class analysis (LCA).
ED symptoms from 3723 female young adult twins (mean age 22) were analyzed using LCA, and resulting classes were compared on external validators reflecting ED and other co-morbid psychiatric diagnoses, substance use disorders (SUDs), and suicidality.
The optimal solution consisted of five latent classes characterized as: (1) Unaffected; (2) Low Weight Gain; (3) Weight Concerned; (4) Dieters; and (5) ED. Members of the ED class had significantly higher prevalence of co-morbid psychiatric disorders, SUDs, and suicidality than the Unaffected and Low Weight Gain classes, and elevated rates of suicidality and major depression compared to the Weight Concerned and Dieter classes, which differed from each other primarily in terms of current body mass index (BMI). Dieter class members were more likely to be overweight and obese and less likely to be underweight than Weight Concerned class members. The majority of women with an ED diagnosis were assigned to the ED class, and few differences were found between ED class members with and without an ED diagnosis.
The results add to the evidence that many women with significant ED psychopathology are not being identified by the DSM-IV ED categories.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a phenotypically heterogeneous and highly heritable syndrome, which commonly co-occurs with other psychiatry disorders. To assess the role of genetic influences in ADHD, we used latent class analysis (LCA) to identify subtypes of ADHD taking into account its comorbidity with separation anxiety, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and three major depression symptoms. A structured interview was used to collect diagnostic data from a population sample of 2904 adolescent female twins and their parents. LCA was applied to ADHD, separation anxiety, ODD symptom profiles obtained from the twins' parents, and major depression symptom profiles obtained from the twins' self-report. Odds ratios were used to test for familiality of class membership by examining the effect of zygosity on twin concordance within and between latent classes. Structural equation modeling was used to compute heritabilities for latent class membership. LCA revealed three ADHD categories of clinical interest: an inattentive subtype without comorbidity, a second inattentive subtype with increased number of ODD symptoms, and a combined inattentive/hyperactive-impulsive type with elevated levels of ODD, separation anxiety, and depressive symptoms. LCA also distinguished an ODD class and a separation anxiety class, each without increased levels of other comorbid symptoms; a second ODD class co-occurring with increased separation anxiety and depression symptoms; and a pure depression class. Odds ratios for MZ contrasted with DZ twin concordance for individual latent class membership ranged from 2·5 to 19·4. Overall, 66% of MZ pairs, but only 36% of DZ pairs, were assigned to the same latent class, consistent with a genetic hypothesis for latent class membership. Individual class membership was shown to have high heritability ranging from ·34–·85. The pattern of latent classes suggested that in the general female adolescent population, there are three highly heritable ADHD subtypes, two of which are comorbid with other disorders. These classes were consistent with a genetic hypothesis for ADHD, with each class potentially reflecting a unique genetic subtype.
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