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Childhood psychopathology at age 8 predicts antidepressant use by age 24

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Question: Does childhood psychopathology predict lifetime use of antidepressants?

Population: 5547 individuals from a nationwide Finnish birth cohort born in 1981. Of the entire birth cohort (n=60 007), 6017 children were selected to participate in 1989 at age 8. Individuals whose data could not be linked to the prescription database were excluded.

Setting: General population, Finland; 1981–2005.

Prognostic factors: The main prognostic factor assessed was childhood psychopathology (assessed at age 8 by validated parent and teacher Rutter's Questionnaire composed of a conduct scale, a hyperkinetic scale and an emotional scale, and the validated self-reported Children's Depression Inventory). Individuals were described as having problems if they scored above the 90th percentile on any of the psychopathology scores. Other factors assessed were parental education level and family structure (defined as intact if living with two biological parents and non-intact if otherwise).

Outcomes: Reimbursed antidepressant purchase between age 13 and 24 (ie, between 1994 and 2005), identified from the Nationwide Prescription Register.


Design: Cohort study.

Follow-up period: …

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