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Serotonin Transporter Gene Not Linked to Depression

Last Updated: June 16, 2009.

There is no connection between the serotonin transporter gene variation 5-HTTLPR, stressful life events, and an increased risk of major depression, according to a study published in the June 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

TUESDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- There is no connection between the serotonin transporter gene variation 5-HTTLPR, stressful life events, and an increased risk of major depression, according to a study published in the June 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Neil Risch, Ph.D., of the University of California in San Francisco and Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research in Oakland, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 14 studies that included 14,250 participants, of whom 1,769 had major depression.

Although the researchers found that major depression was associated with the frequency of stressful life events (odds ratio, 1.41), they found that there was no association with the 5-HTTLPR genotype (odds ratio, 1.05).

"It is critical that health practitioners and scientists in other disciplines recognize the importance of replication of such findings before they can serve as valid indicators of disease risk or have utility for translation into clinical and public health practice," the authors conclude.

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