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Clinical correlates of psychiatric comorbidity in bipolar I patients

Authors

  • Eduard Vieta,

    1. Bipolar Disorders Program at the Clinical Institute of Psychiatry and Psychology, Barcelona Stanley Foundation Research Center, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Spain
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  • Francesc Colom,

    1. Bipolar Disorders Program at the Clinical Institute of Psychiatry and Psychology, Barcelona Stanley Foundation Research Center, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Spain
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  • Barbara Corbella,

    1. Bipolar Disorders Program at the Clinical Institute of Psychiatry and Psychology, Barcelona Stanley Foundation Research Center, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Spain
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  • Anabel Martínez-Arán,

    1. Bipolar Disorders Program at the Clinical Institute of Psychiatry and Psychology, Barcelona Stanley Foundation Research Center, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Spain
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  • María Reinares,

    1. Bipolar Disorders Program at the Clinical Institute of Psychiatry and Psychology, Barcelona Stanley Foundation Research Center, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Spain
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  • Antonio Benabarre,

    1. Bipolar Disorders Program at the Clinical Institute of Psychiatry and Psychology, Barcelona Stanley Foundation Research Center, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Spain
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  • Cristóbal Gastó

    1. Bipolar Disorders Program at the Clinical Institute of Psychiatry and Psychology, Barcelona Stanley Foundation Research Center, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Spain
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Corresponding author: Dr E Vieta, Department of Psychiatry, Hospital Clinic, Villarroel 170, 08036 Barcelona, Spain. Fax: +34-93-2275477; e-mail: evieta@clinic.ub.es

Abstract

Objectives: To ascertain the clinical implications of psychiatric comorbidity in the course and outcome of bipolar I patients.

Methods: One hundred and twenty-nine bipolar I outpatients in remission [Young Mania Rating Scale (Y-MRS)<7, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS)<9] were assessed by means of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R axis I and axis II (SCID-I and SCID-II) in order to detect all possible psychiatric comorbid diagnoses. The sample was split according to the presence of psychiatric comorbidity and the groups were compared.

Results: Psychiatric comorbidity was detected in 31% of the sample. A higher number of mixed features, depressive episodes and suicide attempts and a predominance of depressive onset amongst comorbid bipolar patients were the most relevant differences between the two groups.

Conclusions: There is an association between depression, suicidality and comorbidity in bipolar I disorder. As comorbidity had a clear relevance in the course and outcome of bipolar illness, this issue should be specifically assessed in clinical practice.

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