Age at onset in 3014 Sardinian bipolar and major depressive disorder patients
Article first published online: 23 DEC 2009
© 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 121, Issue 6, pages 446–452, June 2010
How to Cite
Tondo, L., Lepri, B., Cruz, N. and Baldessarini, R. J. (2010), Age at onset in 3014 Sardinian bipolar and major depressive disorder patients. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 121: 446–452. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2009.01523.x
- Issue published online: 4 MAY 2010
- Article first published online: 23 DEC 2009
- Accepted for publication November 20, 2009
- bipolar I and II disorders;
- major depressive disorder onset age
Tondo L, Lepri B, Cruz N, Baldessarini RJ. Age at onset in 3014 Sardinian bipolar and major depressive disorder patients.
Objective: To test if onset age in major affective illnesses is younger in bipolar disorder (BPD) than unipolar-major depressive disorder (UP-MDD), and is a useful measure.
Method: We evaluated onset-age for DSM-IV-TR major illnesses in 3014 adults (18.5% BP-I, 12.5% BP-II, 69.0% UP-MDD; 64% women) at a mood-disorders center.
Results: Median and interquartile range (IQR) onset-age ranked: BP-I = 24 (19–32) < BP-II = 29 (20–40) < UP-MDD = 32 (23–47) years (P < 0.0001), and has remained stable since the 1970s. In BP-I patients, onset was latest for hypomania, and depression presented earlier than in BP-II or UP-MDD cases. Factors associated with younger onset included: i) being unmarried, ii) more education, iii) BPD-diagnosis, iv) family-history, v) being employed, vi) ever-suicidal, vii) substance-abuse and viii) ever-hospitalized. Onset-age distinguished BP-I from UP-MDD depressive onsets with weak sensitivity and specificity.
Conclusion: Onset age was younger among BPD than MDD patients, and very early onset may distinguish BPD vs. UP-MDD with depressive-onset.