We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

The Identification and Validation of Distinct Depressive Syndromes in a Population-Based Sample of Female Twins

Kenneth S. Kendler, MD; Lindon J. Eaves, PhD, DSc; Ellen E. Walters, MS; Michael C. Neale, PhD; Andrew C. Heath, DPhil; Ronald C. Kessler, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1996;53(5):391-399. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1996.01830050025004.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Background:  Depression, a clinically heterogeneous syndrome, may also be etiologically heterogeneous. Using a prospective, epidemiologic, and genetically informative sample of adult female twins, we identify and validate a typology of depressive syndromes.

Methods:  Latent class analysis was applied to 14 disaggregated DSM-III-R symptoms for major depression reported over the last year by members of 1029 female-female twin pairs.

Results:  Seven classes were identified, of which 3 represented clinically significant depressive syndromes: (1) mild typical depression, (2) atypical depression, and (3) severe typical depression. Severe typical depression was characterized by comorbid anxiety and panic, long episodes, impairment, and help seeking. Atypical depression was similar in severity to mild typical depression, but was characterized by increased eating, hypersomnia, frequent, relatively short episodes, and a proclivity to obesity. Individuals with recurrent episodes tended to have the same syndrome on each occasion. The members of twin pairs concordant for depression had the same depressive syndrome more often than expected by chance and this resemblance was greater in monozygotic than in dizygotic pairs.

Conclusion:  In an epidemiologic sample of female twins, depression is not etiologically homogeneous, but is instead made up of several syndromes that are at least partially distinct from a clinical, longitudinal, and familial/genetic perspective.


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.