I agree with Dr Hayward's main conclusion; our study1 suggests that the presence of affective illness in a family member should not generally cause a careful diagnosis of schizophrenia to be questioned. However, current information suggests that we can be considerably more confident in this statement for unipolar than for bipolar illness. Our recent study clearly shows that, using DSM-III criteria, being related to a schizophrenic patient neither protects from nor predisposes to major depression.1 This finding is consistent with our previous results from the Copenhagen sample of the Danish adoption study2 and the results of a controlled family study recently reported by Baron et al.3However, in the same study1 we found that bipolar illness was more common in relatives of schizophrenic patients than in relatives of controls. Whether this finding, which was of borderline statistical significance, results from the difficulty
KENDLER KS. Affective Illness in the Families of Schizophrenic Patients: What Does It Mean Diagnostically?-Reply. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1986;43(7):714–715. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1986.01800070104017
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: