Family history of mood disorder and characteristics of major depressive disorder: A STAR*D (sequenced treatment alternatives to relieve depression) study

Andrew A. Nierenberg, Madhukar H. Trivedi, Maurizio Fava, Melanie M. Biggs, Kathy Shores-Wilson, Stephen R. Wisniewski, G. K. Balasubramani, A. John Rush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Clinicians routinely ask patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) about their family history. It is unknown, however, if patients who report a positive family history differ from those who do not. This study compared the demographic and clinical features of a large cohort of treatment-seeking outpatients with non-psychotic MDD who reported that they did or did not have at least one first-degree relative who had either MDD or bipolar disorder. Methods: Subjects were recruited for the STAR*D multicenter trial. Differences in demographic and clinical features for patients with and without a family history of mood disorders were assessed after correcting for age, sex, race, and ethnicity. Results: Patients with a family history of mood disorder (n = 2265; 56.5%) were more frequently women and had an earlier age of onset of depression, as compared to those without such a history (n = 1740; 43.5%). No meaningful differences were found in depressive symptoms, severity, recurrence, depressive subtype, or daily function. Conclusions: Women were twice as likely as men to report a positive family history of mood disorder, and a positive family history was associated with younger age of onset of MDD in the proband. Consistent with prior research, early age of onset appears to define a familial and, by extension, genetic subtype of major depressive disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-221
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Volume41
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

Keywords

  • Family
  • History
  • Major depressive disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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