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Gender differences in bipolar disorder type I and II

Authors

  • K. Suominen,

    1. Department of Mental Health and Alcohol Research, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Jorvi Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Espoo, Finland
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  • O. Mantere,

    1. Department of Mental Health and Alcohol Research, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Jorvi Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Espoo, Finland
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  • H. Valtonen,

    1. Department of Mental Health and Alcohol Research, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Jorvi Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Espoo, Finland
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  • P. Arvilommi,

    1. Department of Mental Health and Alcohol Research, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Jorvi Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Espoo, Finland
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  • S. Leppämäki,

    1. Department of Mental Health and Alcohol Research, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Jorvi Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Espoo, Finland
    3. Department of Psychiatry, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
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  • E. Isometsä

    1. Department of Mental Health and Alcohol Research, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
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Erkki Isometsä, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, P.O. Box 22, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland. E-mail: erkki.isometsa@hus.fi

Abstract

Objective:  We investigated gender differences in bipolar disorder (BD) type I and II in a representative cohort of secondary care psychiatric in- and out-patients.

Method:  In the prospective, naturalistic Jorvi Bipolar Study of 191 secondary care psychiatric in- and out-patients, 160 patients (85.1%) could be followed up for 18 months with a life chart.

Results:  After adjusting for confounders, no marked differences in illness-related characteristics were found. However, female patients with BD had more lifetime comorbid eating disorders (P < 0.001, OR = 5.99, 95% CI 2.12–16.93) but less substance use disorders (P < 0.001, OR = 0.29, 95% CI 0.16–0.56) than males. Median time to recurrence after remission was 3.1 months longer among men than women, female gender carrying a higher hazard of recurrence (P = 0.006, HR = 2.00, 95% CI 1.22–3.27).

Conclusion:  Men and women with type I and II BD have fairly similar illness-related clinical characteristics, but their profile of comorbid disorders may differ significantly, particularly regarding substance use and eating disorders. In medium-term follow-up, females appear to have a higher hazard of recurrence than males.

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