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Associations between specific parent and offspring mental disorders are likely to have been overestimated in studies that have failed to control for parent comorbidity.
To examine the associations of parent with respondent disorders.
Data come from the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health Surveys (n = 51 507). Respondent disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview and parent disorders with informant-based Family History Research Diagnostic Criteria interviews.
Although virtually all parent disorders examined (major depressive, generalised anxiety, panic, substance and antisocial behaviour disorders and suicidality) were significantly associated with offspring disorders in multivariate analyses, little specificity was found. Comorbid parent disorders had significant sub-additive associations with offspring disorders. Population-attributable risk proportions for parent disorders were 12.4% across all offspring disorders, generally higher in high- and upper-middle- than low-/lower-middle-income countries, and consistently higher for behaviour (11.0–19.9%) than other (7.1–14.0%) disorders.
Parent psychopathology is a robust non-specific predictor associated with a substantial proportion of offspring disorders.
Experts have proposed removing obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) from the anxiety disorders section and grouping it with putatively related conditions in DSM-5. The current study uses co-morbidity and familiality data to inform these issues.
Case family data from the OCD Collaborative Genetics Study (382 OCD-affected probands and 974 of their first-degree relatives) were compared with control family data from the Johns Hopkins OCD Family Study (73 non-OCD-affected probands and 233 of their first-degree relatives).
Anxiety disorders (especially agoraphobia and generalized anxiety disorder), cluster C personality disorders (especially obsessive–compulsive and avoidant), tic disorders, somatoform disorders (hypochondriasis and body dysmorphic disorder), grooming disorders (especially trichotillomania and pathological skin picking) and mood disorders (especially unipolar depressive disorders) were more common in case than control probands; however, the prevalences of eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia nervosa), other impulse-control disorders (pathological gambling, pyromania, kleptomania) and substance dependence (alcohol or drug) did not differ between the groups. The same general pattern was evident in relatives of case versus control probands. Results in relatives did not differ markedly when adjusted for demographic variables and proband diagnosis of the same disorder, though the strength of associations was lower when adjusted for OCD in relatives. Nevertheless, several anxiety, depressive and putative OCD-related conditions remained significantly more common in case than control relatives when adjusting for all of these variables simultaneously.
On the basis of co-morbidity and familiality, OCD appears related both to anxiety disorders and to some conditions currently classified in other sections of DSM-IV.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is probably an etiologically heterogeneous condition. Many patients manifest other psychiatric syndromes. This study investigated the relationship between OCD and co-morbid conditions to identify subtypes.
Seven hundred and six individuals with OCD were assessed in the OCD Collaborative Genetics Study (OCGS). Multi-level latent class analysis was conducted based on the presence of eight co-morbid psychiatric conditions [generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), major depression, panic disorder (PD), separation anxiety disorder (SAD), tics, mania, somatization disorders (Som) and grooming disorders (GrD)]. The relationship of the derived classes to specific clinical characteristics was investigated.
Two and three classes of OCD syndromes emerge from the analyses. The two-class solution describes lesser and greater co-morbidity classes and the more descriptive three-class solution is characterized by: (1) an OCD simplex class, in which major depressive disorder (MDD) is the most frequent additional disorder; (2) an OCD co-morbid tic-related class, in which tics are prominent and affective syndromes are considerably rarer; and (3) an OCD co-morbid affective-related class in which PD and affective syndromes are highly represented. The OCD co-morbid tic-related class is predominantly male and characterized by high conscientiousness. The OCD co-morbid affective-related class is predominantly female, has a young age at onset, obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) features, high scores on the ‘taboo’ factor of OCD symptoms, and low conscientiousness.
OCD can be classified into three classes based on co-morbidity. Membership within a class is differentially associated with other clinical characteristics. These classes, if replicated, should have important implications for research and clinical endeavors.
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