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The risk for psychotic disorders is increased for many ethnic minority groups and may develop in early childhood. This study investigated whether the prevalence of psychotic experiences (PE) with high impact is higher among ethnic minority youth compared to majority youth and examined the significance of these PE.
A school-based study assessed a large community sample of 1545 ethnic minority and majority children in The Netherlands (mean age 12.98 ± 1.81 years). The Dutch (n = 702, 45.4%), Moroccan-Dutch (n = 400, 25.9%) and Turkish-Dutch (n = 170, 11.0%) ethnic groups could be studied separately. Self-report questionnaires on PE, impact and cultural context were administered.
Prevalence of PE with high impact was 3.1% in Dutch, 9.5% in Moroccan-Dutch and 7.1% in Turkish-Dutch youth. Compared to Dutch youth, odds ratios were 3.0 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.7–5.1] for Moroccan-Dutch youth and 2.2 (95% CI 1.1–4.6) for Turkish-Dutch youth. Differences were not explained by cultural or religious differences.
The increased risk for psychotic disorders in ethnic minorities may already be detectable in childhood, since PE with high impact were more common among ethnic minority youth compared to majority youth. The additional measurement of impact of PE appears to be a valid approach to identify those children at risk to develop psychotic or other more common psychiatric disorders.
Endothelial dysfunction (ED), low-grade inflammation (LGI) and oxidative stress (OxS) may be involved in the pathobiology of depression. Previous studies on the association of these processes in depression have yielded contradictory results. We therefore investigated comprehensively, in a population-based cohort study, the association between ED, LGI and OxS on the one hand and depressive symptoms on the other.
We used data from the Hoorn Study and determined biomarkers of ED [flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), von Willebrand factor, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, soluble thrombomodulin and soluble endothelial selectin], LGI [C-reactive protein, tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin 6, interleukin 8, serum amyloid A, myeloperoxidase (MPO) and sICAM-1] and OxS (oxidized low density lipoprotein and MPO). Depressive symptoms were quantified by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) questionnaire (n = 493; age 68 years; 49.9% female). Regression analyses were performed with the use of biomarker Z scores. Adjustments were made for age, sex and glucose metabolism status (cohort stratification variables) and prior cardiovascular disease, hypertension, waist-to-hip ratio, cholesterol levels, education level, physical activity, dietary habits, and the use of antihypertensive and/or lipid-lowering medication and/or metformin (potential confounders).
After adjustment for age, sex and glucose metabolism status, one standard deviation increase in the ED Z score was associated with a 1.9 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.7–3.1] higher CES-D score. Additional adjustments did not materially change this result. LGI and OxS were not associated with the CES-D score.
ED, as quantified by an array of circulating biomarkers and FMD, was independently associated with depressive symptoms. This study supports the hypothesis that ED plays an important role in the pathobiology of depression.
To determine the prevalence of psychosocial problems among Dutch children aged 8–12 years and studying its association with risk factors and quality of life.
This study was conducted within the framework of a community-based health study in the north-west region of the Netherlands. The cross-sectional study sample consisted of 2703 children (1392 boys and 1311 girls). Psychosocial problems and quality of life were measured with the extended version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and KIDSCREEN-10, respectively. Questionnaires and data about risk factors (parental education level, ethnicity, family structure, income, chronic diseases and life events) were completed by the parents or caregivers.
The prevalence of psychosocial problems (SDQ score ≥14) in the total sample was 10.4%. The prevalence was higher in boys compared with girls (13.9% v. 6.6%, OR = 2.28; 95% CI = 1.75–2.97). Boys had significantly more hyperactivity/inattention, conduct, peer relationship and prosocial behaviour problems compared with girls. Risk factors associated with psychosocial problems were: one or more chronic disease(s), life event(s), a low parental educational level (for boys only) and an income under a modal level. Psychosocial problems were significantly inverse related with quality of life in the total sample (rho = −0.47).
Psychosocial problems are common in children, especially among boys, and are inversely related with children's quality of life. The identified risk factors in this study can be useful for developing targeted prevention strategies aimed at children at high risk for psychosocial problems.
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