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 September 17, 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 September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. 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