Psychopathology and social functioning in men prenatally exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES).

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Previous research has suggested increased psychopathology in prenatally diethylstilbestrol (DES)-exposed persons. The current study compares the psychiatric histories and social functioning of 27 men with a history of high-dose prenatal DES exposure and their unexposed brothers. We expected DES subjects to show greater lifetime psychopathology and poorer social functioning than controls. Both groups showed high rates of lifetime depression, lifetime alcoholism, and current psychiatric symptoms in excess of community norms. The only diagnosis on which DES subjects exceeded their unexposed brothers was Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). DES-exposed men had almost twice the prevalence of at least one episode of MDD and had significantly more recurrent episodes. The relatively small number of subjects with concomitant lack of statistical power may have contributed to the difficulty obtaining significant effects.

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