The British Journal of Psychiatry
Twin birth and adult psychiatric disorder. An examination of the case records of the Maudsley Hospital.
B Chitkara, A Macdonald, A M Reveley

Abstract

We compared the general distribution of diagnoses in 20,895 patients at the Maudsley Hospital with that of 504 patients born twins, including 117 twins where the co-twin had died before the age of 15. Significant differences in diagnostic distribution were found in the co-twin-dead compared with the co-twin-alive group; the former received diagnoses of schizophrenia, personality disorder, or substance abuse more often than the latter. While there were no overall differences between twins and non-twins, there were relatively more twins in the above three diagnostic groups. We suggest that the factors leading to the death of one twin are implicated in the later psychiatric morbidity of the survivor.