Adolescent hypomania, ADHD share genetic risk factors

  • Hosang GM & al.
  • JAMA Psychiatry
  • 14.08.2019

  • von Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Nearly 30% of the genetic risk factors associated with hypomania in adolescents were also associated with ADHD in childhood and adolescence, according to a study of more than 13,000 twin pairs.
  • There was no significant association between environmental factors and the hypomania-ADHD association.

Why this matters

  • Up to 10% of youths with hypomania have an increased risk of bipolar disorder (BD), and prior research found increased rates of BD among people with a history of ADHD.

Study design

  • 13,532 Swedish twin pairs (age, 9 or 12 years) were identified from the Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden.
  • 3784 and 3013 participants followed up at 15 and ≥18 years of age, respectively.
  • Funding: Swedish Research Council, Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education.

Key results

  • ADHD symptoms were significantly associated with hypomania at ages 15 and 18 (Pboth<.001>
  • 21%-22% (hypomania; age 15) and 13%-29% (hypomania; age 18) of the variance in hypomania was associated with shared genetic risk factors for ADHD traits.
  • Environmental factors played a negligible role in the association.
  • Genetic overlap with hypomania was greater with hyperactivity-impulsivity (range, 10%-25%) than with inattention (range, 6%-16%).

Limitations

  • Accuracy of ADHD-BD comorbidity rate may be affected by BD misdiagnosis.

Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm