Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Suggests That Heritability Of Major Depression Is Higher In Women Than In Men

Date:
January 7, 2006
Source:
Virginia Commonwealth University
Summary:
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have found that genes contribute more strongly to the risk of depression in women than in men, and that there may be some genetic factors that are operating uniquely in one sex and not in the other.

Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have found that genes contribute more strongly to the risk of depression in women than in men, and that there may be some genetic factors that are operating uniquely in one sex and not in the other.

In the January issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers reported that heritability of depression is higher in women – approximately 42 percent -- than in men, where it is approximately 29 percent.

“Our work, together with colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, represents the largest epidemiological study of depression in twins done to date. In addition, it broadly replicates what has been shown by our earlier work using the Virginia Twin Registry. In particular, we have shown that depression is a moderately heritable disorder, suggesting that genetic factors are important, but by no means overwhelming,” said Kenneth S. Kendler, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and human genetics in VCU’s School of Medicine and lead author on the study.

The research team employed twin study models to evaluate lifetime major depression of approximately 42,000 twins, including 15,000 complete pairs from the Swedish National Twin Registry.

According to Kendler, the sex-effects are of two kinds – quantitative and qualitative. He said that quantitative sex-effects examine whether heritability is different in males compared with females, and if the overall importance of genetic factors differs between the sexes; whereas qualitative sex-effects examine whether the same genes are playing a role in males and females.

For example, Kendler said there may be genes that alter the risk for depression in a woman’s response to cyclic sex hormones, particularly in the postpartum period. Such genes would impact a woman’s risk for major depression, but would not be active in men because men lack the relevant hormonal milieu.

The Virginia Twin Registry is now part of the VCU Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry (MATR), which contains a population-based record of twins from Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

This work was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health (MH-49492), the Swedish Scientific Council and the Swedish Department of Higher Education.

Kendler collaborated with Charles O. Gardener, Ph.D., from VCU; and Margaret Gatz, Ph.D., and Nancy L. Pedersen, Ph.D., who are affiliated with the University of Southern California and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Commonwealth University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Virginia Commonwealth University. "Study Suggests That Heritability Of Major Depression Is Higher In Women Than In Men." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060106130234.htm>.
Virginia Commonwealth University. (2006, January 7). Study Suggests That Heritability Of Major Depression Is Higher In Women Than In Men. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060106130234.htm
Virginia Commonwealth University. "Study Suggests That Heritability Of Major Depression Is Higher In Women Than In Men." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060106130234.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins