Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

PTSD Spells Worse Outcomes for Bipolar

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

PTSD Spells Worse Outcomes for Bipolar

Article excerpt

Posttraumatic stress disorder can worsen outcomes in people with bipolar I disorder, as measured by a lower likelihood of recovery, greater proportion of rapid cycling periods, increased risk of suicide attempts, and worse quality of life.

"We found that 11 % of these individuals [studied] had comorbid PTSD" [which] appears to be an important marker of worse clinical outcomes, Dr. Lucas C. Quarantini of the Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Brazil, and his colleagues reported in a study published online in the Journal of Affective Disorders (doi:10.1016/j.jad.2009.08.005).

Their findings were based on a sample of 355 bipolar I outpatients (88% of 405 consecutive patients) from two teaching hospitals in Brazil. The participants, whose mean age was 36 years, were divided into three demographically similar groups: bipolar disorder patients with PTSD, bipolar disorder patients exposed to trauma but without PTSD, and bipolar disorder patients with no PTSD or trauma exposure, who served as controls.

Multivariate analyses that determined prevalence ratios controlled for sex, age, marital status, occupational status, psychotic features, and mood status at first mood episode, reported Dr. Quarantini, who is also affiliated with the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston.

Subjects with comorbid PTSD reported worse quality of life based on a tool developed by the World Health Organizaton. Bipolar trauma patients did not report an increased prevalence of rapid cycling, however, bipolar PTSD patients were 2. …

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