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Association of Genetic and Environmental Risks for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder with Hypomanic Symptoms in Youths

Journal article
Authors Georgina M. Hosang
Paul Lichtenstein
Angelica Ronald
Sebastian Lundström
Mark J. Taylor
Published in JAMA Psychiatry
Volume 76
Issue 11
Pages 1150-1158
ISSN 2168-622X
Publication year 2019
Published at Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre
Centre for Ethics, Law, and Mental Health
Pages 1150-1158
Language en
Subject categories Psychiatry, Neurosciences


All rights reserved. Importance: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder are highly comorbid, with significantly associated symptoms. The mechanisms that account for their co-occurrence are not known. Objective: To examine the degree to which genetic and environmental risk factors for ADHD traits, across childhood and adolescence, are associated with adolescent hypomanic symptoms. Design, Setting, and Participants: This study used data on 13532 twin pairs from the Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden, a prospective, longitudinal twin study. Their parents provided ADHD data when children were 9 or 12 years of age. Of those who reached 15 years of age, 3784 participated. Of those who reached 18 years of age, 3013 participated. The study was performed from December 20, 2017, to December 5, 2018. Data analysis was performed at the Department of Medical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, from March 1, 2018, to October 31, 2018. Main Outcomes and Measures: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder traits and hypomanic symptoms were assessed using parent-rated instruments. Associations between ADHD and adolescent hypomanic symptoms across childhood and adolescence were investigated using generalized estimating equations. Multivariate twin models were used to examine the extent to which genetic and environmental risk factors for ADHD were associated with hypomania. Results: Among 3784 15-year-old twin pairs and 3013 18-year-old twin pairs, ADHD and hypomanic symptoms were significantly associated (age 15 years: β = 0.30; 95% CI, 0.24-0.34; P <.001; age 18 years: β = 0.19; 95% CI, 0.16-0.22; P <.001), especially for the hyperactivity-impulsivity ADHD symptom domain (age 15 years: β = 0.53; 95% CI, 0.46-0.60; P <.001; age 18 years: β = 0.36; 95% CI, 0.30-0.42; P <.001) compared with the inattention domain (age 15 years: β = 0.40; 95% CI, 0.34-0.47; P <.001; age 18 years: β = 0.24; 95% CI, 0.19-0.29; P <.001). Between 13% and 29% of the genetic risk factors for hypomania were also associated with ADHD, with higher estimates detected for symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity (10%-25%) compared with inattention (6%-16%). Environmental factors played a negligible role in the associations. Genetic factors unique to adolescent hypomania were associated with 25% to 42% of its variance, suggesting some etiologic distinction between these forms of psychopathology. Conclusions and Relevance: More than a quarter of the genetic risk factors for adolescent hypomanic traits were also associated with ADHD symptoms in childhood and adolescence, with hypomania-specific genetic risk factors detected. These findings suggest that ADHD and hypomanic symptoms are associated with shared genetic factors, which should be the focus of further research..

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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