The first-onset affective episode requiring inpatient treatment in the postpartum period can be a marker of bipolar disorder, but it is unknown whether milder postpartum affective episodes are also indicators of underlying bipolarity. Therefore, we aimed to study whether women with a nonpsychotic postpartum affective episode treated with antidepressants have an increased risk of bipolar disorder.
A register-based cohort study was conducted in Denmark of 122,622 parous women without psychiatric history who received a first-time antidepressant prescription during 1997-2012. We compared women with a first-time antidepressant prescription, which was our indicator of a first-onset affective disorder, within 1 year postpartum to women with a first-time antidepressant prescription outside the postpartum period. Our outcome was psychiatric contact for bipolar disorder (ICD-10 criteria) during follow-up, and we estimated hazard ratios using Cox regressions.
The risk of bipolar disorder among women with a postpartum affective episode was higher than that in women with an affective episode outside the postpartum period. The risk of bipolar disorder was 1.66 (95% CI, 1.12-2.48) for postpartum antidepressant monotherapy and 10.15 (95% CI, 7.13-14.46) for postpartum antidepressant therapy plus a subsequent prescription for anxiolytics when these therapies were compared to antidepressant monotherapy outside the postpartum period.
First-onset nonpsychotic postpartum affective disorder can be a marker of underlying bipolarity. Women who fill an antidepressant prescription following childbirth should be asked about hypomanic or manic symptoms and monitored long term. Clinically, when antidepressant monotherapy is ineffective or the individual woman experiences persistent and concerning symptoms, health professionals should consider a possible bipolar spectrum disorder.
Numerous studies have observed that offspring of bipolar parents manifest a broad spectrum of psychiatric disorders. We tested the hypothesis that in high risk offspring, bipolar disorder evolves in a predictable clinical sequence from non-specific (non-mood) to specific (mood) psychopathology.
Offspring from well-characterized families with one bipolar parent (high risk) or two well parents (controls) were assessed annually or at anytime symptoms developed using KSADS-PL interviews for up to 15 years. DSM-IV diagnoses were made on blind consensus review using all available clinical material. We compared the age-adjusted risks of lifetime psychopathology between high risk and control subjects and assessed the conditional probability of developing a mood disorder given a history of non-mood disorders. In subjects meeting full DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorder, we assessed the sequence of psychopathology against a clinical staging model.
High risk offspring manifest higher rates of anxiety and sleep disorders, as well as major mood and substance use disorders compared to controls. Antecedent anxiety increased the age-adjusted risk of mood disorder from 40 to 85% (hazard ratio of 2.6). High risk subjects who developed a mood disorder had an increased risk of a substance use disorder (hazard ratio of 2.4), typically meeting diagnostic criteria during or after the first major mood episode. The evolution of psychopathology leading to bipolar disorder generally followed the proposed sequence, although not all subjects manifest all stages.
Larger numbers of high risk offspring prospectively assessed over the risk period would allow confirmation of these preliminary findings.
Clinical staging may be a useful approach to refine the early diagnosis and facilitate research into the evolution of bipolar disorder in those at familial risk.
It is of potentially great public health importance to determine whether youth-onset anxiety disorders are associated with the increased prevalence of subsequent bipolar I disorder (BD) among adults, and to identify risk factors for BD in this population.
The 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions was used to identify respondents with social phobia, panic disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder that onset in youth (
Cites: Can J Psychiatry. 2001 Nov;46(9):797-80211761630
Cites: Am J Psychiatry. 2001 Jan;158(1):125-711136645
We investigated the age at onset distributions of schizophrenia in men and women and the relationship of age at onset and sex to the familial rates of schizophrenia and manic-depression in data from a Swedish family study of 270 schizophrenic probands. On the logarithmic scale, the age at onset distribution of schizophrenia in both male and female relatives was bimodal, suggesting that broadly defined schizophrenia may be a mixture of 2 (probably related) disorders. The risk of schizophrenia in relatives decreased as a function of the age at onset of the proband, irrespective of the sex of the proband or relative. In contrast, the risk of manic-depression was significantly higher in relatives of female probands with an age at onset in the twenties than in relatives of female probands with earlier or later onset, or in relatives of male probands. This suggests a third disorder related to affective psychosis, with an intermediate age at onset and female preponderance.