DISTINCT ETIOLOGICAL INFLUENCES on OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE SYMPTOM DIMENSIONS: A MULTIVARIATE TWIN STUDY

Clara López-Solà, Leonardo F. Fontenelle, Brad Verhulst, Michael C. Neale, José M. Menchón, Pino Alonso, Ben J. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by five major dimensions, including contamination/washing, harm/checking, symmetry/ordering, hoarding, and forbidden thoughts. How these dimensions may relate etiologically to the symptoms of other obsessive-compulsive related disorders (OCRDs) and anxiety disorders (ADs) is not well known. The aim of this study was to examine the genetic and environmental overlap between each major obsessive-compulsive dimension with the symptoms of other OCRDs and ADs. Methods Two thousand four hundred ninety-five twins of both sexes, aged between 18 and 45 years, were recruited from the Australian Twin Registry. Measures used scores on four dimensions (obsessing (forbidden thoughts), washing, checking, and ordering) of the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-Revised, Dysmorphic Concerns Questionnaire, Hoarding Rating Scale, Anxiety Sensitivity Index, Social Phobia Inventory, and Stress subscale of the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale. Multivariate twin modeling methods using continuous and categorized variables were performed, also controlling for age and gender. Results Our findings suggested that forbidden thoughts and washing demonstrated the strongest genetic overlap with other AD symptoms, while ordering was genetically related to OCRD symptoms. Common genetic influences on checking symptoms were best estimated when modeling OCRDs together with AD symptoms. Common environmental factors of ordering and checking were shared with AD symptoms. Conclusions Important shared genetic and environmental risk factors exist between OCD, OCRDs, and ADs, but which vary alongside the expression of its major dimensions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-191
Number of pages13
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • anxiety/anxiety disorders
  • BDD
  • hoarding
  • OCD
  • twin studies

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