16th Malaysian Conference on Psychological Medicine. 22-23 July 2011: Abstracts for the Free Paper and Poster Presentation

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Theme: Factors in Psychiatric Disorders

Polymorphism of the serotonin transporter transporter gene (5-HTTLPR), stressful life events and associated risk factors of major depressive disorder patients in a UKMMC

Suriati Mohamed Saini, Azizah Mohd. Radzi, Abdul Hamid Abdul Rahman

Introduction: Gene-environment (GxE) interaction between serotonin transporter gene polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) in major depressive disorder has been found in multiple independent studies. However, data from Malaysia is lacking.

Objectives: This study aims to determine the association between the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and stressful life events (GXE interaction) and determine factors associated with major depressive disorder.

Methodology: This is a candidate gene case-control association study. The sample consists of 55 major depressive disorder probands and 66 controls. The control group was healthy volunteers without personal psychiatric history and family history of mood disorders. They were Malaysian descents and were unrelated. Diagnosis of major depressive disorder was determined using Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview. Stressful life events were assessed using Holmes and Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale. About 3-5mls of participants’ blood were sent to Institute Medical Research for genotyping.

Results: This study failed to detect the association between 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and stressful life events in the major depressive disorder. The predictive risk factors for major depressive disorder were increasing age, Chinese ethnic group, divorced/separated/widowed, unemployed, moderate and major stressful life events and increasing number of life events. The frequency of l allele in the healthy controls in our population was higher (78%) than that of Caucasian and East Asian population.

Conclusion: The GXE interaction in major depressive disorder was not found in this study. The predictive risk factors for major depressive disorder were consistent with previous epidemiological studies with the addition of the Chinese ethnic group. In view of heterogenous population in Malaysia, we recommended that future study should employ a
larger sample size or use of genomic control method to overcome population stratification in Malaysia.

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