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Major depressive disorder in women and risk for future generations: population-based three-generation study

  • Ann Josefsson (a1), Josefin Vikström (a2), Marie Bladh (a3) and Gunilla Sydsjö (a1)
Abstract
Background

The well-known adverse consequences of maternal depression prompts consideration of the importance of learning more about intergenerational transmission in order to identify individuals at risk of developing depressive disorders.

Aims

To follow two generations of women with major depressive disorder (MDD) and to examine the risk of MDD in the third-generation children.

Method

A register-based, retrospective cohort study of all women born in Sweden between 1973 and 1982 who had given birth during the study period, their mothers and their children. All generations were followed until 2013. Data was stratified into two cohorts: women born between 1973 and 1977 and those born between 1978 and 1982.

Results

Second-generation women were twice as likely to be diagnosed with MDD if their mothers had been diagnosed with MDD. If both previous generations had been diagnosed with depression the likelihood of the third-generation child being diagnosed with MDD was markedly increased (odds ratio (OR) = 5.07, 95% CI 4.06–6.34 and OR = 7.20, 95% CI 4.41–11.77 in cohort 1 and cohort 2, respectively).

Conclusions

There is a strong intergenerational impact in the transmission of MDD. The risk of MDD is especially high in individuals with MDD in both previous maternal generations.

Declaration of interest

None.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Ann Josefsson, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, 581 85 Linköping, Sweden. Email: ann.josefsson@regionostergotland.se
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Major depressive disorder in women and risk for future generations: population-based three-generation study

  • Ann Josefsson (a1), Josefin Vikström (a2), Marie Bladh (a3) and Gunilla Sydsjö (a1)
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