Date: 09 May 2012

Influence of family history of major depression, bipolar disorder, and suicide on clinical features in patients with major depression and bipolar disorder

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Abstract

The extent to which a family history of mood disorders and suicide could impact on clinical features of patients suffering from major depression (MD) and bipolar disorder (BD) has received relatively little attention so far. The aim of the present work is, therefore, to assess the clinical implications of the presence of at least one first- and/or second-degree relative with a history of MD, BD and suicide in a large sample of patients with MD or BD. One thousand one hundred and fifty-seven subjects with MD and 686 subjects with BD were recruited within the context of two large projects. The impact of a family history of MD, BD, and suicide—considered both separately and together—on clinical and socio-demographic variables was investigated. A family history of MD, BD, and suicide was more common in BD patients than in MD patients. A positive family history of mood disorders and/or suicide as well as a positive family history of MD and BD separately considered, but not a positive history of suicide alone, were significantly associated with a comorbidity with several anxiety disorders and inversely associated with age of onset. The clinical implications as well as the limitations of our findings are discussed.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00406-013-0429-9.