Anxiety at age 15 predicts psychiatric diagnoses and suicidal ideation in late adolescence and young adulthood: results from two longitudinal studies

Doering, S., Lichtenstein, P., Gillberg, C. , Middeldorp, C. M., Bartels, M., Kuja-Halkola, R. and Lundström, S. (2019) Anxiety at age 15 predicts psychiatric diagnoses and suicidal ideation in late adolescence and young adulthood: results from two longitudinal studies. BMC Psychiatry, 19, 363. (doi: 10.1186/s12888-019-2349-3) (PMID:31727035) (PMCID:PMC6857289)

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Background: Anxiety disorders in adolescence have been associated with several psychiatric outcomes. We sought to describe the prospective relationship between various levels of adolescent anxiety and psychiatric diagnoses (anxiety-, bipolar/psychotic-, depressive-, and alcohol and drug misuse disorders) and suicidal ideation in early adulthood while adjusting for childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Furthermore, we aimed to estimate the proportion attributable to the various anxiety levels for the outcomes. Methods: We used a nation-wide population-based Swedish twin study comprising 14,106 fifteen-year-old twins born in Sweden between 1994 and 2002 and a replication sample consisting of 9211 Dutch twins, born between 1985 and 1999. Adolescent anxiety was measured with parental and self-report. Psychiatric diagnoses and suicidal ideation were retrieved from the Swedish National Patient Register and via self-report. Results: Adolescent anxiety, of various levels, predicted, in the Swedish National Patient Register, anxiety disorders: hazard ratio (HR) = 4.92 (CI 3.33–7.28); depressive disorders: HR = 4.79 (3.23–7.08), and any psychiatric outcome: HR = 3.40 (2.58–4.48), when adjusting for ADHD, ASD, and DCD. The results were replicated in the Dutch data. The proportion of psychiatric outcome attributable to adolescent anxiety over time (age 15–21) was 29% for any psychiatric outcome, 43–40% for anxiety disorders, and 39–38% for depressive disorders. Conclusion: Anxiety in adolescence constitutes an important risk factor in the development of psychiatric outcomes, revealing unique predictions for the different levels of anxiety, and beyond the risk conferred by childhood ADHD, ASD, and DCD. Developmental trajectories leading into psychiatric outcomes should further empirically investigated.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work has been supported by the CAPICE project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement number 721567. The Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden is supported by Swedish Research Council (Medicine, Humanities and Social Science, and SIMSAM) Grant number: 2017–02552, Funds under the ALF agreement, grant number ALFGBG776031 and Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE), grant number 2015–00075. Data collection in the NTR was supported by NWO: Twin-family database for behavior genetics and genomics studies (480–04-004); “Spinozapremie” (NWO/SPI 56–464-14192; “Genetic and Family influences on Adolescent psychopathology and Wellness” (NWO 463– 06-001); “A twin-sib study of adolescent wellness” (NWO-VENI 451–04-034); ZonMW “Genetic influences on stability and change in psychopathology from childhood to young adulthood” (912–10-020); “Netherlands Twin Registry Repository” (480–15-001/674) and KNAW Academy Professor Award (PAH/ 6635) to DIB. The ACTION consortium is supported by funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement number 602768. We warmly thank all participating twin families.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gillberg, Professor Christopher
Authors: Doering, S., Lichtenstein, P., Gillberg, C., Middeldorp, C. M., Bartels, M., Kuja-Halkola, R., and Lundström, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:BMC Psychiatry
ISSN (Online):1471-244X
Published Online:14 November 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMC Psychiatry 19:363
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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