Medical comorbidity in bipolar disorder: re-prioritizing unmet needs.


Journal Article (Review)

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this review is to synthesize results from extant investigations which report on the co-occurrence of bipolar disorder and medical comorbidity. RECENT FINDINGS: We conducted a MEDLINE search of all English-language articles published between January 2004 and November 2006. Most studies report on medical comorbidity in bipolar samples; relatively fewer studies report the reciprocal association. Individuals with bipolar disorder are differentially affected by several 'stress-sensitive' medical disorders notably circulatory disorders, obesity and diabetes mellitus. Neurological disorders (e.g. migraine), respiratory disorders and infectious diseases are also prevalent. Although relatively few studies have scrutinized the co-occurrence of bipolar disorder in medical settings, individuals with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, migraine and circulatory disorders may have a higher prevalence of bipolar disorder. A clustering of traditional and emerging (e.g. immuno-inflammatory activation) risk factors presage somatic health issues in the bipolar disorder population. Iatrogenic factors and insufficient access to primary, preventive and integrated healthcare systems are also contributory. SUMMARY: Somatic health issues in individuals with bipolar disorder are ubiquitous, under-recognized and suboptimally treated. Facile screening for risk factors and laboratory abnormalities along with behavioral modification for reducing medical comorbidity are warranted.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McIntyre, RS; Soczynska, JK; Beyer, JL; Woldeyohannes, HO; Law, CWY; Miranda, A; Konarski, JZ; Kennedy, SH

Published Date

  • July 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 406 - 416

PubMed ID

  • 17551358

Pubmed Central ID

  • 17551358

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0951-7367

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/YCO.0b013e3281938102


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States