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Letters to the Editor
September 2007

Alternative Interpretation of Swedish Twin Study Findings on Personality and Major Depression

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007;64(9):1096. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.64.9.1096-a

In their article “Personality and Major Depression: A Swedish Longitudinal, Population-Based Twin Study,” Kendler and colleagues reported the results of a study that “examined the association between personality and the lifetime risk for depression. . . . ”1(p1118) They conducted elegant and sophisticated analyses of genetically determined risk for neuroticism and major depression in the context of a beautifully designed longitudinal study conducted in an ideal sample of twins. They concluded, “Results from both longitudinal and genetic analyses support the hypothesis that neuroticism strongly reflects the liability to MD [major depression]. This association arises largely because neuroticism indexes the genetic risk for depressive illness.”1(p1113)

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