Pre-morbid IQ in mental disorders: a Danish draft-board study of 7486 psychiatric patients

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A Urfer-Parnas, E Lykke Mortensen, D Sæbye, J Parnas

BACKGROUND: Longitudinal studies indicate that future schizophrenia patients exhibit lower IQ than healthy controls. Recent studies suggest that future patients with other mental illnesses obtain lower pre-morbid IQ. The aims of this study were to compare pre-morbid IQ among five diagnostic categories and normal controls, to examine the distribution of pre-morbid IQ, and to investigate the relationship between pre-morbid IQ and risk of mental illness.MethodA total of 7486 individuals hospitalized with psychiatric disease and 20 531 controls. IQ was measured at the draft board and hospital diagnoses [schizophrenia (Sz), non-schizophrenic, non-affective psychoses (NSAP), affective (AD), personality (PD) and neurotic/stress disorders (ND)] were followed up to ages 43-54 years. Individuals hospitalized 1 year after appearing before the draft board were excluded. RESULTS: All future patients obtained significantly lower pre-morbid IQ than controls (3-7 IQ points), AD had the highest IQ and PD the lowest. In each diagnostic category, decreasing IQ was associated with an increasing risk of becoming a patient [odds ratios (ORs) 0.5-2.5 over the full IQ spectrum]. IQ distributions was nearly normal and uni-modal. CONCLUSIONS: IQ deficits in each diagnostic category may reflect different functional patterns and temporal vicissitudes of the specific pathogenetic processes involved in different mental disorders.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Medicine
Volume40
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)547-56
Number of pages9
ISSN0033-2917
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ID: 16637881