To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
There is some evidence that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently co-occurs with immune-mediated conditions including asthma. We aimed to explore the familial co-aggregation of ASD and asthma using different genetically informed designs.
We first examined familial co-aggregation of asthma and ASD in individuals born in Sweden from 1992 to 2007 (n = 1 569 944), including their full- and half-siblings (n = 1 704 388 and 356 544 pairs) and full cousins (n = 3 921 890 pairs), identified using Swedish register data. We then applied quantitative genetic modeling to siblings (n = 620 994 pairs) and twins who participated in the Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden (n = 15 963 pairs) to estimate the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to the co-aggregation. Finally, we estimated genetic correlations between traits using linkage disequilibrium score regression (LDSC).
We observed a within-individual association [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.33, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.28–1.37] and familial co-aggregation between asthma and ASD, and the magnitude of the associations decreased as the degree of relatedness decreased (full-siblings: OR 1.44, 95% CI 1.38–1.50, maternal half-siblings: OR 1.28, 95% CI 1.18–1.39, paternal half-siblings: OR 1.05, 95% CI 0.96–1.15, full cousins: OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.03–1.09), suggesting shared familial liability. Quantitative genetic models estimated statistically significant genetic correlations between ASD traits and asthma. Using the LDSC approach, we did not find statistically significant genetic correlations between asthma and ASD (coefficients between −0.09 and 0.12).
Using different genetically informed designs, we found some evidence of familial co-aggregation between asthma and ASD, suggesting the weak association between these disorders was influenced by shared genetics.
Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs) are associated with experiences of victimization, but mechanisms remain unclear. We explored sex differences and the role of familial factors and externalizing problems in the association between several NDs and violent victimization in adolescence and young adulthood.
Individuals born in Sweden 1985–1997, residing in Sweden at their 15th birthday, were followed until date of violent victimization causing a hospital visit or death, death due to other causes, emigration, or December 31, 2013, whichever came first. The exposures were diagnoses of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disability (ID) and other NDs. We used three different Cox regression models: a crude model, a model adjusted for familial confounding using sibling-comparisons, and a model additionally adjusted for externalizing problems.
Among 1 344 944 individuals followed, on average, for 5 years, 74 487 were diagnosed with NDs and 37 765 had a hospital visit or died due to violence. ADHD was associated with an increased risk of violent victimization in males [hazard ratio (HR) 2.56; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.43–2.70) and females (HR 5.39; 95% CI 4.97–5.85). ASD and ID were associated with an increased risk of violent victimization in females only. After adjusting for familial factors and externalizing problems, only ADHD was associated with violent victimization among males (HR 1.27; 95% CI 1.06–1.51) and females (HR 1.69; 95% CI 1.21–2.36).
Females with NDs and males with ADHD are at greater risk of being victim of severe violence during adolescence and young adulthood. Relevant mechanisms include shared familial liability and externalizing problems. ADHD may be independently associated with violent victimization.
Familial co-aggregation studies of eating disorders (EDs) and schizophrenia reveal shared genetic and environment factors, yet their etiological and clinical relationship remains unclear. We evaluate the influence of schizophrenia family history on clinical outcomes of EDs.
We conducted a cohort evaluation of the association between family history of schizophrenia and ED clinical features, psychiatric comorbidities, and somatic and mental health burden in individuals born in Sweden 1977–2003 with anorexia nervosa (AN) or other EDs (OED: bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and ED not otherwise specified).
Of 12 424 individuals with AN and 20 716 individuals with OED, 599 (4.8%) and 1118 (5.4%), respectively, had a family history of schizophrenia (in up to third-degree relatives). Among individuals with AN, schizophrenia in first-degree relatives was significantly associated with increased comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) [HR(95% CI) 2.26 (1.27–3.99)], substance abuse disorder (SUD) [HR (95% CI) 1.93 (1.25–2.98)], and anxiety disorders [HR (95% CI) 1.47 (1.08–2.01)], but higher lowest illness-associated body mass index (BMI) [1.14 kg/m2, 95% CI (0.19–2.10)]. Schizophrenia in any relative (up to third-degree) in AN was significantly associated with higher somatic and mental health burden, but lower ED psychopathology scores [−0.29, 95% CI (−0.54 to −0.04)]. Schizophrenia in first-degree relatives in individuals with OED was significantly associated with increased comorbid ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, SUD, anxiety disorders, somatic and mental health burden, and suicide attempts.
We observed different patterns of ED-related outcomes, psychiatric comorbidity, and illness burden in individuals with EDs with and without family histories of schizophrenia and provide new insights into the diverse manifestations of EDs.
Although attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder in the latest diagnostic manuals, it shows phenotypic and genetic associations of similar magnitudes across neurodevelopmental, externalising and internalising disorders.
To investigate if ADHD is aetiologically more closely related to neurodevelopmental than externalising or internalising disorder clusters, after accounting for a general psychopathology factor.
Full and maternal half-sibling pairs (N = 774 416), born between 1980 and 1995, were identified from the Swedish Medical Birth and Multi-Generation Registers, and ICD diagnoses were obtained from the Swedish National Patient Register. A higher-order confirmatory factor analytic model was fitted to examine associations between ADHD and a general psychopathology factor, as well as a neurodevelopmental, externalising and internalising subfactor. Quantitative genetic modelling was performed to estimate the extent to which genetic, shared and non-shared environmental effects influenced the associations with ADHD.
ADHD was significantly and strongly associated with all three factors (r = 0.67–0.75). However, after controlling for a general psychopathology factor, only the association between ADHD and the neurodevelopmental-specific factor remained moderately strong (r = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.42–0.45) and was almost entirely influenced by genetic effects. In contrast, the association between ADHD and the externalising-specific factor was smaller (r = 0.25, 95% CI = 0.24–0.27), and largely influenced by non-shared environmental effects. There remained no internalising-specific factor after accounting for a general factor.
Findings suggest that ADHD comorbidity is largely explained by genetically influenced general psychopathology, but the strong link between ADHD and other neurodevelopmental disorders is also substantially driven by unique genetic influences.
Genetically informed studies have provided mixed findings as to what extent parental substance misuse is associated with offspring substance misuse and antisocial behavior due to shared environmental and genetic factors.
We linked data from nationwide registries for a cohort of 2 476 198 offspring born in Sweden 1958–1995 and their parents. Substance misuse was defined as International Classification of Diseases diagnoses of alcohol/drug use disorders or alcohol/drug-related criminal convictions. Quantitative genetic offspring-of-siblings analyses in offspring of monozygotic and dizygotic twin, full-sibling, and half-sibling parents were conducted.
Both maternal and paternal substance misuse were robustly associated with offspring substance misuse [maternal adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) = 1.83 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.80–1.87); paternal aHR = 1.96 (1.94–1.98)] and criminal convictions [maternal aHR = 1.56 (1.54–1.58); paternal aHR = 1.66 (1.64–1.67)]. Additive genetic effects explained 42% (95% CI 25–56%) and 46% (36–55%) of the variance in maternal and paternal substance misuse, respectively, and between 36 and 44% of the variance in substance misuse and criminality in offspring. The associations between parental substance misuse and offspring outcomes were mostly due to additive genetic effects, which explained 54–85% of the parent-offspring covariance. However, both nuclear and extended family environmental factors also contributed to the associations, especially with offspring substance misuse.
Our findings from a large offspring-of-siblings study indicate that shared genetic influences mostly explain the associations between parental substance misuse and both offspring substance misuse and criminality, but we also found evidence for the contribution of environmental factors shared by members of nuclear and extended families.
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) has been linked to academic underachievement, but previous studies had methodological limitations. We investigated the association between SAD and objective indicators of educational performance, controlling for a number of covariates and unmeasured confounders shared between siblings.
This population-based birth cohort study included 2 238 837 individuals born in Sweden between 1973 and 1997, followed-up until 2013. Within the cohort, 15 755 individuals had a recorded ICD-10 diagnosis of SAD in the Swedish National Patient Register. Logistic regression models tested the association between SAD and educational performance. We also identified 6488 families with full siblings discordant for SAD.
Compared to unexposed individuals, individuals diagnosed with SAD were less likely to pass all subjects in the last year of compulsory education [adjusted odds ratios (aOR) ranging from 0.19 to 0.44] and less likely to be eligible for a vocational or academic programme in upper secondary education [aOR = 0.31 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.30–0.33) and aOR = 0.52 (95% CI 0.50–0.55), respectively], finish upper secondary education [aOR = 0.19 (95% CI 0.19–0.20)], start a university degree [aOR = 0.47 (95% CI 0.45–0.49)], obtain a university degree [aOR = 0.35 (95% CI 0.33–0.37)], and finish postgraduate education [aOR = 0.58 (95% CI 0.43–0.80)]. Results were attenuated but remained statistically significant in adjusted sibling comparison models. When psychiatric comorbidities were taken into account, the results were largely unchanged.
Treatment-seeking individuals with SAD have substantially impaired academic performance throughout the formative years. Early detection and intervention are warranted to minimise the long-term socioeconomic impact of the disorder.
Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are two severe eating disorders associated with high premature mortality, suicidal risk and serious medical complications. Transition between anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa over the illness course and familial co-aggregation of the two eating disorders imply aetiological overlap. However, genetic and environmental liabilities to the overlap are poorly understood. Quantitative genetic research using clinical diagnosis is needed.
We acquired a clinical diagnosis of anorexia nervosa (prevalence = 0.90%) and bulimia nervosa (prevalence = 0.48%) in a large population-based sample (N = 782 938) of randomly selected full-sisters and maternal half-sisters born in Sweden between 1970 and 2005. Structural equation modelling was applied to quantify heritability of clinically diagnosed anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa and the contributions of genetic and environmental effects on their overlap.
The heritability of clinically diagnosed anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa was estimated at 43% [95% confidence interval (CI) (36–50%)] and 41% (31–52%), respectively, in the study population, with the remaining variance explained by variance in unique environmental effects. We found statistically significant genetic [0.66, 95% CI (0.49–0.82)] and unique environmental correlations [0.55 (0.43–0.66)] between the two clinically diagnosed eating disorders; and their overlap was about equally explained by genetic and unique environmental effects [co-heritability 47% (35–58%)].
Our study supports shared mechanisms for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa and extends the literature from self-reported behavioural measures to clinical diagnosis. The findings encourage future molecular genetic research on both eating disorders and emphasize clinical vigilance for symptom fluctuation between them.
Causes of the comorbidity of substance misuse with anxiety-related and depressive disorders (anxiety/depression) remain poorly known. We estimated associations of substance misuse and anxiety/depression in the general population and tested them while accounting for genetic and shared environmental factors.
We studied individuals born in Sweden 1968–1997 (n = 2 996 398) with follow-up in nationwide register data for 1997–2013. To account for familial effects, stratified analyses were conducted within siblings and twin pairs. Substance misuse was defined as ICD-10 alcohol or drug use disorder or an alcohol/drug-related criminal conviction. Three dimensions of ICD-10 anxiety and depressive disorders and a substance misuse dimension were identified through exploratory factor analysis.
Substance misuse was associated with a 4.5-fold (95% CI 4.50–4.58) elevated risk of lifetime generalized anxiety/depression, 4.7-fold (95% CI 4.63–4.82) elevated risk of panic disorder and agora/social phobia, and 2.9-fold elevated risk of phobias/OCD (95% CI 2.82–3.02) as compared to those without substance misuse. The associations were attenuated in within-family analyses but we found elevated risks in monozygotic twin pairs discordant for substance misuse as well as significant non-shared environmental correlations. The association between anxiety/depression and substance misuse was mainly driven by generalized anxiety/depression, whereas other anxiety/depression dimensions had minor or no independent associations with substance misuse.
Substance misuse and anxiety/depression are associated at the population level, and these associations are partially explained by familial liabilities. Our findings indicate a common genetic etiology but are also compatible with a potential partially causal relationship between substance misuse and anxiety/depression.
A recent family study of young adult males suggests a shared familial liability between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and high body mass index (BMI), and a genome-wide meta-analysis reported a genetic correlation of 0.26 between ADHD and BMI. To date, it is unclear whether these findings generalize to the relationship between ADHD and clinically diagnosed obesity.
By linking the Swedish national registers, we identified 25 38 127 individuals born between 1973 and 2000, together with their siblings and cousins. The risk of clinical obesity in individuals with ADHD was compared with the risk in those without ADHD. The relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors to the association between ADHD and clinical obesity were examined via assessment of the familial co-aggregation of the two conditions and quantitative genetic analysis.
Individuals with ADHD were at an increased risk of clinical obesity compared with those without (risk difference 3.73%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.55–3.90%; risk ratio 3.05, 95% CI 2.95–3.15). Familial co-aggregation of ADHD and clinical obesity was detected and the strength of the co-aggregation decreased by decreasing genetic relatedness. The correlation between the liabilities to ADHD and clinical obesity can be entirely attributed to their genetic correlation (rg 0.30, 95% CI 0.17–0.44).
The association between ADHD and clinical obesity in adolescence and young adulthood can be entirely attributed to genetic underpinnings shared by the two conditions. Children with ADHD should be monitored for weight gain so that preventive measures can be taken for those on a suboptimal trajectory.
Traits of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are strongly associated in children and adolescents, largely due to genetic factors. Less is known about the phenotypic and aetiological overlap between ADHD and ASD traits in adults.
We studied 6866 individuals aged 20–28 years from the Swedish Study of Young Adult Twins. Inattention (IA) and hyperactivity/impulsivity (HI) were assessed using the WHO Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale-V1.1. Repetitive and restricted behaviours (RRB) and social interaction and communication (SIC) were assessed using the Autism-Tics, ADHD, and other Comorbidities inventory. We used structural equation modelling to decompose covariance between these ADHD and ASD trait dimensions into genetic and shared/non-shared environmental components.
At the phenotypic level, IA was similarly correlated with RRB (r = 0.33; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.31–0.36) and with SIC (r = 0.32; 95% CI 0.29–0.34), whereas HI was more strongly associated with RRB (r = 0.38; 95% CI 0.35–0.40) than with SIC (r = 0.24; 95% CI 0.21–0.26). Genetic and non-shared environmental effects accounted for similar proportions of the phenotypic correlations, whereas shared environmental effects were of minimal importance. The highest genetic correlation was between HI and RRB (r = 0.56; 95% 0.46–0.65), and the lowest was between HI and SIC (r = 0.33; 95% CI 0.23–0.43).
We found evidence for dimension-specific phenotypic and aetiological overlap between ADHD and ASD traits in adults. Future studies investigating mechanisms underlying comorbidity between ADHD and ASD may benefit from exploring several symptom-dimensions, rather than considering only broad diagnostic categories.
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) usually begins during adolescence but little is known about the prevalence, etiology, and patterns of comorbidity in this age group. We investigated the prevalence of BDD symptoms in adolescents and young adults. We also report on the relative importance of genetic and environmental influences on BDD symptoms, and the risk for co-existing psychopathology.
Prevalence of BDD symptoms was determined by a validated cut-off on the Dysmorphic Concerns Questionnaire (DCQ) in three population-based twin cohorts at ages 15 (n = 6968), 18 (n = 3738), and 20–28 (n = 4671). Heritability analysis was performed using univariate model-fitting for the DCQ. The risk for co-existing psychopathology was expressed as odds ratios (OR).
The prevalence of clinically significant BDD symptoms was estimated to be between 1 and 2% in the different cohorts, with a significantly higher prevalence in females (1.3–3.3%) than in males (0.2–0.6%). The heritability of body dysmorphic concerns was estimated to be 49% (95% CI 38–54%) at age 15, 39% (95% CI 30–46) at age 18, and 37% (95% CI 29–42) at ages 20–28, with the remaining variance being due to non-shared environment. ORs for co-existing neuropsychiatric and alcohol-related problems ranged from 2.3 to 13.2.
Clinically significant BDD symptoms are relatively common in adolescence and young adulthood, particularly in females. The low occurrence of BDD symptoms in adolescent boys may indicate sex differences in age of onset and/or etiological mechanisms. BDD symptoms are moderately heritable in young people and associated with an increased risk for co-existing neuropsychiatric and alcohol-related problems.
Children born to older fathers are at higher risk to develop severe psychopathology (e.g., schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), possibly because of increased de novo mutations during spermatogenesis with older paternal age. Because severe psychopathology is correlated with antisocial behavior, we examined possible associations between advancing paternal age and offspring violent offending. Interlinked Swedish national registers provided information on fathers' age at childbirth and violent criminal convictions in all offspring born from 1958 to 1979 (N = 2,359,921). We used ever committing a violent crime and number of violent crimes as indices of violent offending. The data included information on multiple levels; we compared differentially exposed siblings in within-family analyses to rigorously test causal influences. In the entire population, advancing paternal age predicted offspring violent crime according to both indices. Congruent with a causal effect, this association remained for rates of violent crime in within-family analyses. However, in within-family analyses, we found no association with ever committing a violent crime, suggesting that factors shared by siblings (genes and environment) confounded this association. Life-course persistent criminality has been proposed to have a partly biological etiology; our results agree with a stronger biological effect (i.e., de novo mutations) on persistent violent offending.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.