The second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D:4D) is an indirect, retrospective, non-invasive measure that correlates negatively with intrauterine exposure to testosterone. The present meta-analysis aimed to evaluate if 2D:4D differs between patients with psychiatric disorders and controls. In September 2019, we searched in Web of Knowledge, PsycINFO, Embase, and CINHAL, and retrieved 619 papers. We finally included 43 case-control studies which compared the 2D:4D ratio of patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (n = 16), schizophrenia (n = 8), gender non-conformity (n = 7), addictions (n = 5), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (n = 4), mood disorders (n = 2), and intellectual disability (n = 1) to non-clinical controls. Meta-analyses showed that, overall, psychiatric patients had lower 2D:4D than healthy controls (n = 43, overall sample = 9,484, mean difference = -0.0056, 95% confidence interval from -0.0093 to -0.002, I2= 74%), with more pronounced differences in the right hand, males, and children. Considering psychiatric disorders individually, significant differences were found in the ASD, ADHD, and addictions groups, in which 2D:4D was significantly lower than healthy controls. Conversely, the right hand of males with schizophrenia showed higher 2D:4D than healthy controls. No other significant differences were detected. Although our results need to be cautiously interpreted and find limited applications in clinical practice, they may suggest that 2D:4D is altered in some psychopathological conditions, underlining the role of prenatal exposure to sex steroids in the etiology of psychiatric disorders.

Second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D:4D) in psychiatric disorders: A systematic review of case-control studies

Fusar-Poli L.;Rodolico A.;Sturiale S.;Carotenuto B.;Natale A.;Arillotta D.;Signorelli M. S.;Aguglia E.
2021-01-01

Abstract

The second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D:4D) is an indirect, retrospective, non-invasive measure that correlates negatively with intrauterine exposure to testosterone. The present meta-analysis aimed to evaluate if 2D:4D differs between patients with psychiatric disorders and controls. In September 2019, we searched in Web of Knowledge, PsycINFO, Embase, and CINHAL, and retrieved 619 papers. We finally included 43 case-control studies which compared the 2D:4D ratio of patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (n = 16), schizophrenia (n = 8), gender non-conformity (n = 7), addictions (n = 5), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (n = 4), mood disorders (n = 2), and intellectual disability (n = 1) to non-clinical controls. Meta-analyses showed that, overall, psychiatric patients had lower 2D:4D than healthy controls (n = 43, overall sample = 9,484, mean difference = -0.0056, 95% confidence interval from -0.0093 to -0.002, I2= 74%), with more pronounced differences in the right hand, males, and children. Considering psychiatric disorders individually, significant differences were found in the ASD, ADHD, and addictions groups, in which 2D:4D was significantly lower than healthy controls. Conversely, the right hand of males with schizophrenia showed higher 2D:4D than healthy controls. No other significant differences were detected. Although our results need to be cautiously interpreted and find limited applications in clinical practice, they may suggest that 2D:4D is altered in some psychopathological conditions, underlining the role of prenatal exposure to sex steroids in the etiology of psychiatric disorders.
Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity
Autism spectrum disorder
Mental disorders
Meta-analysis
Substance addiction
Testosterone
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/505557
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