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


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.

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@article{McIntyre2007MedicalCI, title={Medical comorbidity in bipolar disorder: re-prioritizing unmet needs.}, author={Roger S McIntyre and Joanna K Soczynska and John L Beyer and Hanna O Woldeyohannes and Candy W Y Law and Andrew Miranda and Jakub Z Konarski and Sidney H Kennedy}, journal={Current opinion in psychiatry}, year={2007}, volume={20 4}, pages={406-16} }