Document Detail

Genetic and environmental contributions to the overlap between psychological, fatigue and somatic symptoms: a twin study in Sri Lanka.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21314256     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Somatic symptoms often co-occur with psychological symptoms but this overlap is poorly understood. Some aspects of this overlap differ in the South Asian context, but it is not clear whether this is a reporting effect or an underlying difference in experienced illness.
METHODS: Home interviews were administered to 4,024 twins randomly selected from a population-based twin register in the Colombo district of Sri Lanka (the CoTASS study). These included assessments of psychological, somatic and fatigue symptoms. The data were analyzed using factor analytic and quantitative genetic approaches.
RESULTS: Confirmatory factor analysis showed that the symptoms from the three scales represented three separate dimensions, rather than all tapping into a single dimension. However, familial correlations among the data were most consistent with a common pathway model. This implies that a portion of the underlying vulnerability is common across psychological, fatigue and somatic symptoms. There were sex differences in the etiology of this model, with shared environmental and genetic influences playing different roles in men and women.
CONCLUSIONS: There is a complex etiological relationship between psychological, fatigue and somatic symptoms. This is similar in Sri Lanka to Western countries, but there may be a greater influence from the family environment, suggesting that care needs to be taken when generalizing research findings between countries. People who complain of certain fatigue or somatic symptoms may well also have psychological symptoms, or may have genetic or environmental vulnerabilities to such problems.
Harriet A Ball; Sisira H Siribaddana; Athula Sumathipala; Yulia Kovas; Nick Glozier; Frühling Rijsdijk; Peter McGuffin; Matthew Hotopf
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Twin Study    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Twin research and human genetics : the official journal of the International Society for Twin Studies     Volume:  14     ISSN:  1832-4274     ISO Abbreviation:  Twin Res Hum Genet     Publication Date:  2011 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-02-14     Completed Date:  2011-04-14     Revised Date:  2013-06-30    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101244624     Medline TA:  Twin Res Hum Genet     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  53-63     Citation Subset:  IM    
MRC Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Diseases in Twins / diagnosis,  genetics,  psychology
Fatigue / diagnosis,  genetics*,  psychology*
Middle Aged
Models, Genetic
Risk Factors
Sex Factors
Socioeconomic Factors
Sri Lanka / epidemiology
Twins, Dizygotic / genetics*,  psychology
Twins, Monozygotic / genetics*,  psychology
Young Adult
Grant Support
069629//Wellcome Trust; //Wellcome Trust

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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