Hypocholesterolemia during mixed manic episodes.
BACKGROUND: An association of relatively low serum cholesterol with both depression and suicide has been reported. Depressive symptoms, including suicidality, are defining features of mixed mania. Few studies have considered differences in cholesterol levels in subjects during mixed bipolar episodes. METHODS: Fasting serum cholesterol levels obtained from 174 subjects evaluated during mixed and pure manic episodes were compared using ANOVA statistics. Sex was included in the analysis and age was used as a covariate. Cholesterol levels in the total manic cohort and in the mixed and pure manic subgroups were compared with national norms. RESULTS: Fasting serum cholesterol levels were lower in the mixed manic subtype compared to the pure manic subtype. As expected, cholesterol levels increased with age. No differences were noted between males and females. Cholesterol levels were lower in both the mixed and pure manic subtypes when compared with national norms. CONCLUSION: Fasting serum cholesterol levels are low in manic patients, especially during mixed bipolar episodes. Cholesterol, which has been reported to be a negative acute phase reactant, may be lower during mixed states as a result of an immune activation.
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