The CCC2000 Birth Cohort Study of Register-Based Family History of Mental Disorders and Psychotic Experiences in Offspring
Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article › Research › peer-review
Psychotic experiences (PE) in individuals of the general population are hypothesized to mark the early expression of the pathology underlying psychosis. This notion of PE as an intermediate phenotype is based on the premise that PE share genetic liability with psychosis. We examined whether PE in childhood was predicted by a family history of mental disorder with psychosis rather than a family history of nonpsychotic mental disorder and whether this association differed by severity of PE. The study examined data on 1632 children from a general population birth cohort assessed at age 11-12 years by use of a semistructured interview covering 22 psychotic symptoms. The Danish national registers were linked to describe the complete family history of hospital-based psychiatric diagnoses. Uni- and multivariable logistic regressions were used to test whether a family history of any mental disorder with psychosis, or of nonpsychotic mental disorder, vs no diagnoses was associated with increased risk of PE in offspring (hierarchical exposure variable). The occurrence of PE in offspring was significantly associated with a history of psychosis among the first-degree relatives (adjusted relative risk [RR] = 3.29, 95% CI: 1.82-5.93). The risk increased for combined hallucinations and delusions (adjusted RR = 5.90, 95% CI: 2.64-13.16). A history of nonpsychotic mental disorders in first-degree relatives did not contribute to the risk of PE in offspring nor did any mental disorder among second-degree relatives. Our findings support the notion of PE as a vulnerability marker of transdiagnostic psychosis. The effect of psychosis in first-degree relatives may operate through shared genetic and environmental factors.