ISSN 1225-8709 (Print)
ISSN 2005-7571 (Online)
Volume 24, Number 3 (3/2017)
Original Article <page. 142-8 >

The Association of the 2nd to 4th Digit Ratio with the Age of Onset and Metabolic Factors in Korean Patients with Schizophrenia

Hong Rae Kim, MD1;Jung Sun Lee, MD2;Yeon Ho Joo, MD2;Seunghee Won, MD3;Seunghyong Ryu, MD4;Kyung Sue Hong, MD5;Jun Soo Kwon, MD6;Seung Yeoun Lee, PhD7;Hong Seok Oh, MD8;Joon Ho Choi, MD1; and Yu Sang Lee, MD8;

1;Department of Psychiatry, Hanyang University Guri Hospital, Guri, 2;Department of Psychiatry, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, 3;Department of Psychiatry, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, 4;Department of Mental Health Research, National Center for Mental Health, Seoul, 5;Department of Psychiatry, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, 6;Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, 7;Department of Statistics, Sejong University, Seoul, 8;Department of Psychiatry, Yong-In Mental Hospital, Yongin, Korea

Objectives : The ratio of second to fourth digit length (2D : 4D) could be a potential epigenetic marker of sexual dimorphism reflecting prenatal testosterone exposure. Testosterone is known to affect the development of the brain through an epigenetic mechanism. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of exposure to fetal testosterone on the metabolic syndrome based on 2D : 4D of schizophrenia patients and the relationship with the age of onset of schizophrenia.

Methods : A total of 214 schizophrenia patients participated in this study. The participant's physical and blood tests were performed according to the American National Cholesterol Education Program's Third Amendment of the Metabolic Syndrome Diagnostic Criteria, and the 2D : 4D was measured by the method designed by McFadden. Data were statistically analyzed by t-test, Pearson's correlation analysis and multiple regression model analysis.

Results : 2D : 4D was significantly higher in female than male in both hands, and there was a statistically significant negative correlation between 2D : 4D and the age of onset of schizophrenia in male. However, 2D : 4D did not show statistically significant correlation with metabolic factors.

Conclusions : Fetal testosterone suggests the possibility of affecting the age of onset of schizophrenia through the epigenetic mechanism, but there is no clear relationship with metabolic factors.

Key words : Testosterone;2D : 4D;Schizophrenia;Metabolic factors.


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