Background: Previous research indicates that liability to disability pension (DP) due to mental diagnoses is moderately influenced by genetic factors. This study investigates whether genetic contributions to the liability to DP due to mood and neurotic diagnoses overlap with the genetic influences on major depression (MD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), or chronic fatigue (CF).
Method: A prospective cohort study including 9,985 female twins born in Sweden 1933–1958. The presence of MD, GAD, and CF was assessed by computer-assisted telephone interviews conducted in 1998–2002. Data on DP due to mood and neurotic diagnoses were obtained from nationwide registers for the years 1998–2010. Common genetic and environmental influences on the phenotypes were estimated by applying structural equation modeling.
Results: The prevalence of MD/GAD was 30%, CF 8%, and DP due to mood and neurotic diagnoses 3% in 2010. Genetic effects on MD/GAD explained 31% of the total genetic variation in DP, whereas genetic contributions in common with CF were small and not significant. The majority of the total non-shared environmental variance in DP (85%) was explained by the factors that were unique to DP.
Conclusions: Large proportions of genetic and non-shared environmental influences in DP due to mood and neurotic diagnoses were not explained by the contributions from MD/GAD or CF. The results suggest that the process leading to DP is complex and influenced by factors other than those related to the disorder underlying DP.