OBJECTIVE: The authors compared the clinical characteristics and family
history of patients with early-onset (before age 18), typical-onset (at
20-25 years), and late-onset (after age 35) affective psychosis at the time
of first hospitalization. METHOD: Diagnostic, symptom, and family history
information was obtained from 88 consecutively hospitalized patients.
RESULTS: Major depression was more common in the late-onset group, and a
family history of affective and substance abuse disorders was more common
among the early-onset patients. Affective symptoms differed significantly
among groups; specifically, early-onset patients had more energy, minimal
sleep disruption, and greater suicidality, while typical-onset patients had
more severe abnormal thought content. CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with
affective psychosis, there may be heterogeneity of symptoms and family
history associated with age at first hospitalization.