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Letters to the Editor
October 1998

Offspring of Depressed Mothers—Reply

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998;55(10):949. doi:

In reply

The northern Finland birth cohort study is interesting and important in its own right but differs from our high-risk longitudinal study in fundamental ways, which makes the comparison of findings between studies difficult.

Our study is a longitudinal high-risk design. The original high-risk proband groups were selected because they had major depression, diagnosed by direct interview. Both probands and spouses of the patients and the controls were directly interviewed to ensure that the control group did not include a parent with major depression. The outcome was the diagnosis in the offspring, assessed in 3 interviews conducted during 10 years, blinded to the proband parent diagnosis and independent of whether the offspring had had treatment.

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