Depression spectrum disease with and without depression in first-degree relatives.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Family history was assessed in 211 outpatients with unipolar major depression and diagnoses were rendered according to Winokur et al. (Winokur et al. (1978) J. Nerv. Ment. Dis. 166, 764-768) family history typology. The subclassification of Depression Spectrum Disease with Alcoholism and Depression (DSDA + D) was applied to those patients reporting at least one first-degree relative suffering from alcoholism and another first-degree relative suffering from depression (n = 103), while Depression Spectrum Disease with Alcoholism (DSDA) was applied to those patients with at least one first-degree relative suffering from alcoholism, but none suffering from depression (n = 108). These two groups were compared on demographic, clinical and biological characteristics. They were also compared with 162 patients who reported the presence of depression and absence of alcoholism in first-degree relatives, designated as Familial Pure Depressive Disease (FPDD) by the Winokur et al. (1978) classification. Results revealed that the DSDA + D group was younger, had an earlier age at onset of depression and experienced more episodes of depression than did the DSDA group. No differences were found between the two groups on biological measures. The FPDD group was more similar to the DSDA + D group than the DSDA group in terms of age at onset and number of depressives episodes. However, the FPDD group had a longer length of illness than either of the DSD groups. These data suggest that the DSD group should be more narrowly defined (excluding those with a positive family history of depression) in future clinical research studies.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rush, AJ; Feldman-Koffler, F; Weissenburger, JE; Giles, DE; Roffwarg, HP; Orsulak, PJ

Published Date

  • December 13, 1995

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 131 - 138

PubMed ID

  • 8749841

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0165-0327

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0165-0327(95)00057-7


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands