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Psychiatric hospitalization in twins

, : Psychiatric hospitalization in twins. Acta Geneticae Medicae et Gemellologiae 33(2): 321-332

Hospitalization rates of monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs in Finland were compared for schizophrenia, neuroses, and alcoholism. Record-linkage of hospital records and death certificates for the years 1972-1979 was carried out for persons in the Finnish Twin Cohort (16,649 like-sexed twin pairs). The ratio of the number of observed vs that of expected concordant pairs and the ratio of concordance rates between MZ and DZ pairs were greater among males than females, and greater among young (40 years old or less) than among older pairs. The highest difference was found in schizophrenia and the lowest in neuroses. Pairwise concordance rates for schizophrenia (11.0% for MZ and 1.8% for DZ) seem to indicate great environmental influence (high proportion of discordant pairs) with apparent genetic liability (6.1-fold ratio in concordance between MZ and DZ pairs). In neurotic disorders, the difference of pairwise concordance rates between MZ and DZ pairs (6.8% vs 4.0%) was quite low, not strongly supporting a genetic hypothesis. Of the MZ pairs concordant for psychiatric hospitalization, 47% had lived together for their whole life time; of those discordant, 16% lived together. The corresponding figures for DZ pairs were 18% and 15%. The effect of intrapair relationships in disease-concordant pairs should be taken into account when evaluating the effect of genetic and environmental factors in psychiatric disorders.


PMID: 6540965

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