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September 1984

Appetite Disturbance and Excessive Guilt in Major DepressionUse of Family Study Data to Define Depressive Subtypes

Author Affiliations

From the Depression Research Unit, Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven (Drs Leckman, Prusoff, Weissman, Merikangas, and Pauls), and the Departments of Psychiatry (Drs Leckman, Prusoff, Weissman, and Merikangas), Epidemiology (Dr Weissman), and Human Genetics (Dr Pauls) and the Child Study Center (Dr Leckman and Mr Caruso), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(9):839-844. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790200021003

• A post hoc analysis of the relationship between depression in first-degree family members (N=810) and specific patterns of "endogenous" symptoms in 133 probands with nonbipolar major depression revealed that concomitant appetite disturbance and excessive guilt in the depressed probands was associated with increased rates of major depression among family members. The depressed, interviewed relatives of depressed probands with appetite disturbance and excessive guilt were found to be at a 2.5 greater risk for this same subtype compared with the depressed, interviewed relatives of the remaining depressed probands. These findings suggest that this subtype of depression may "breed true" within these families.