The A1 allele of TaqI A restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) in the D2 receptor (DRD2) gene locus has been suggested to be associated with low D2 receptor density in man. Striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) densities were studied with [(123)I]2-beta-carbometoxy-3beta(4-iodophenyl)tropane and single-photon emission tomography in 29 detoxified alcoholics, who were also genotyped for the two alleles of TaqI A RFLP at the DRD2 receptor gene locus. Alcoholics with the A1/A2 genotypes (n = 10) had statistically significantly higher DAT densities than subjects with the A2/A2 genotypes [n = 19; 8.0 +/- 1.2 (mean +/- SD) vs 6.9 +/- 1.1, P = 0.035]. We suggest that the TaqI A RFLP is in linkage disequilibrium with a gene variant modifying DAT density in alcoholics.
BACKGROUND: It has been suggested earlier that parental loss could be an important risk factor for alcoholism in adulthood. We explored the association between different types of childhood families with later alcohol-related problems of the offspring, in particular drunk driving. METHODS: We used a large, prospectively collected general population birth cohort database (n = 10,934), the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort. Linked with the National crime register, it provided information on drunk driving offenses known to the police that involved persons 15 to 32 years of age (n = 432). Type of family was categorized into five subgroups: two-parent family and four types of single-parent families (single-parent all the time, single-parent at birth, parental death, parental divorce). The information about family type was obtained from questionnaires given to the mothers during mid-pregnancy and at the time of the 14-year follow-up. RESULTS: Single-parent family during childhood significantly increased the risk of drunk driving in adulthood among both males and females. Males who were born in single-mother families were at the highest risk of drunk driving offenses in adulthood (adjusted OR 2.4; 95% CI 1.4-4.2). The association between single-parent family and drunk driving among males was seen in all types of single-parent families except for parental death. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that growing up in a single-parent family is a potentially powerful predictor of adult alcohol-related problems, i.e., early-onset, late-onset, and recidivistic drunk driving.
This research evaluated the arson trend in Finland since the 1960s by analyzing the Official Crime Statistics of Finland registered by the police and examined more detailed about arsonists (n = 98), who had been in the forensic psychiatric pretrial examination by using homicide offenders (n = 55) as control subjects. From 1965 to 1991 the percentage of arson in relation to all crimes increased fivefold and in the same timeframe the amount of arson increased nearly tenfold. According to the police in Finland there are committed over 700 arsons every year, of which 90% are committed by men. The percentage of women has however increased 0.2% yearly. Women today commit about 10% and juveniles 10 to 15% of all arsons. The arsonists differed from the homicide offenders regarding rural residence (P = 0.009), poor education (P = 0.004), absence of regular work at the time of the crime (P = 0.004), suicidality (P = 0.001), alcohol problems (P = 0.002), psychiatric care (P = 0.000.02) and arsonists more commonly found to be not responsible for the crime committed (P = 0.01).
Anxiety frequently accompanies low-grade inflammation-associated conditions like depression, insulin resistance, coronary heart disease and metabolic syndrome. The association between anxiety and low-grade inflammation is, unlike between depression and low-grade inflammation, a very sparsely studied area in general populations. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether anxiety symptoms as well as comorbid anxiety and depressive symptoms are associated with low-grade inflammation at population level.
The general population-based Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort was followed until age 31 (n=2688 males and 2837 females), when the highly sensitive CRP concentrations were measured. Anxiety and depressive symptoms were defined by Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 (HSCL-25).
After adjusting for confounders, logistic regression analyses showed that anxiety symptoms alone increased the probability for elevated hs-CRP levels (>3.0mg/L) in males over two-fold (2.19 CI 95% 1.08-4.46), while comorbid anxiety and depressive symptoms caused a 1.7-fold (1.76 CI 95% 1.13-2.74) increase in the probability for elevated hs-CRP levels (1.0-3.0mg/L).
Our results support the hypothesis that anxiety as well as comorbid anxiety and depression can be associated with an increased risk for low-grade inflammation in males at population level.
Several studies have suggested an association between IgE-mediated atopic allergies and depression. The present study extends our understanding about putative gender differences of this association and provides further epidemiological evidence for our previous finding that the association between atopy and depression may be characteristic for females only. In order to clearly determine the presence of atopic disorders and depression, we used more valid tools than had been employed earlier and we had access to a database (the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort), in which individuals were followed up prospectively until the age of 31 years. The information on allergic symptoms, verified by skin-prick tests and comprising data of 5518 individuals, was used to ascertain the presence of atopy. Depression was assessed with the help of Hopkins' Symptom Checklist-25 and self-reported doctor-diagnosed depression. After adjusting for a father's social class, mother's parity, and place of residence, logistic regression analyses showed that the risk of developing depression increased in parallel with the increasing severity of depression and, when compared with nonatopic subjects, was 3.0 to 4.7-fold up in atopic females and statistically significant. In atopic males, the association between atopy and depression was statistically significant only in the highest depression scores, the odds ratio being 6.3-fold. The results indicate that females suffering from atopic diseases might possess an elevated risk of developing depression already during early adulthood. In males, the association between these two disorders is evident only among the most severe manifestations of depression. Possible background theories, that is, genetic abnormalities in serotonin metabolism, HPA-axis dysfunction, and histamine theory are discussed.
Deviant birth measure is a risk factor for later somatic illness but also for later psychiatric disorders of the offspring. Only a few studies have examined the association of birth measures to later psychiatric disorders among adolescents. Studies on sex differences in these associations are scarce as well.
The cases consisted of 508 adolescents (208 boys and 300 girls) aged 12-17 years, who were admitted to inpatient psychiatric hospitalization between 2001 and 2006. In addition, 478 healthy controls were derived from the Northern Finnish Birth Cohort 1986, born in approximately the same period and same area as the cases. Data of birth measures were collected from the National Birth Register for cases and from antenatal clinics for controls. Both cases and controls were interviewed using the Schedule for Affective Disorder and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children-Present and Lifetime (K-SADS-PL) to assess psychiatric disorders.
The adolescent patients were statistically significantly shorter and had higher ponderal index at birth compared to healthy controls. In addition, the age of the mothers at adolescent's birth was significantly younger in the patients than the controls. After controlling for various covariates, a 2.4-fold increased likelihood for internalizing disorders was seen among male adolescents with high ponderal index.
The association of birth measures to psychiatric disorders was confirmed in our study, particularly among male adolescents suffering from internalizing disorders. Further studies in larger adolescent samples are needed to confirm our findings and clear up the association of high ponderal index to specific psychiatric disorders.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Only a few studies have examined the putative association between substance use and bullying others, and to our knowledge none of the previous studies have investigated substance abuse among victims or those who are both bullies and victims. The aim of our study was to investigate substance use among all of these three bullying subgroups and to examine the putative association between substance use and bullying behaviour. METHODS: The study sample consisted of 508 Finnish adolescents (age 12-17) admitted to psychiatric inpatient care between April2001 and March2006. We used the Schedule for Affective Disorder and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children Present and Lifetime (K-SADS-PL) to obtain DSM-IV psychiatric diagnoses, information about bullying behaviour and substance abuse of the adolescents. The level of nicotine dependence (ND) was assessed by using the modified Fagerström Tolerance Questionnaire (mFTQ). RESULTS: Our study showed that both among boys and girls, regular daily smoking and alcohol use among boys were statistically significantly associated with bullying behaviour. Further, among girls, but not among boys, there was also an association between bullying behaviour and more severe substance use, such as ND, use of cannabis and hard drugs. CONCLUSION: Since an association between bullying and severe substance use was found in this study, our novel finding needs replication in adolescent general population samples.
OBJECTIVE: To measure plasma atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) in relation to maternal haemodynamics and body fluid balance in the early puerperium following uncomplicated pregnancy and pre-eclampsia. DESIGN: A longitudinal study from late pregnancy and into the early postpartum period (days 1 to 3 and days 4 to 6) compared with nonpregnant controls. SUBJECTS: Eleven women with uncomplicated pregnancies, 12 women with pre-eclampsia and 12 healthy, nonpregnant women. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Maternal heart dimensions determined by M-mode echocardiography, concentrations of ANP, and daily urine output and sodium excretion. RESULTS: After delivery increases in left atrial dimensions, represented as mean (SEM), from 33.2 (1.6) to 37.7 (1.7) mm and ANP levels from 7.9 (1.1) to 19.0 (2.7) pmol/L were observed at 1-3 days postpartum in normal pregnant women, but we were not able to demonstrate a significant increase in diuresis and natriuresis. In the third trimester left atrial dimensions (38.4 (1.2) mm) and ANP levels (15.4 (2.2) pmol/L) were greater in pre-eclampsia. ANP levels rose further in pre-eclamptic women in the early puerperium (27.4 (7.4) pmol/L) with an increase in diuresis and natriuresis, while left atrial dimensions did not change significantly (39.4 (1.7) mm). A pericardial effusion was found in 11 pre-eclamptic but in only three healthy pregnant women. CONCLUSIONS: A concommitant increase in left atrial dimensions and ANP in the early puerperium following uncomplicated pregnancies is consistent with the mechanism of atrial stretch as a stimulus for ANP release, although the biological significance of this finding remained unclear. A significantly higher release of ANP in the early puerperium after pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia may be a mechanism which promotes the renal elimination of excessive body fluids and sodium.
As a prerequisite to the use of the Finnish National Hospital Discharge Register in psychiatric epidemiological research, we studied the diagnostic reliability of the register in terms of the psychiatric morbidity experienced by a national birth cohort. We investigated all entries to the register for a sample based upon the Northern Finland 1966 birth cohort at the age of 16 years (n = 11017). Until the end of 1993 (age 27 years), a total of 563 subjects had a register diagnosis indicating a psychiatric illness, 37 of them being schizophrenia. When operational criteria (DSM-III-R) were applied to clinical information in the available original hospital records for cases of psychosis, personality disorder and substance abuse (n = 249), 71 fulfilled criteria for schizophrenia, including all of the 37 cases in the register and an additional 34 (48% false-negatives), most frequently diagnosed in the register as schizophreniform or other psychosis. Despite the official use of DSM-III-R nomenclature, it appears that the clinical concept of schizophrenia in Finland, manifest within the register, remains very restrictive. The application of operational criteria is a necessary prerequisite for scientific research on schizophrenia.