Methods: We used network analysis to investigate associations between reported trauma and depression and anxiety symptom interactions in affected individuals from the Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) Study (n = 17720), and population volunteers from the UK Biobank (n = 11120). Participants with current moderate symptoms of depression or anxiety were grouped into reporters and non-reporters of lifetime trauma. Networks of 16 depression and anxiety symptoms in the two groups were compared using the network comparison test.
Results: In the GLAD Study, networks of reporters and non-reporters of lifetime trauma did not differ on any metric. In the UK Biobank, the symptom network of reporters had significantly greater density (7.80) than the network of non-reporters (7.05).
Limitations: The data collected in the GLAD Study and the UK Biobank are self-reported with validated or semi-validated questionnaires.
Conclusions: Reported lifetime trauma was associated with stronger interactions between symptoms of depression and anxiety in population volunteers. Differences between reporters and non-reporters may not be observed in individuals with severe depression and/or anxiety due to limited variance in the presentation of disorder.
- network analysis