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A bipolar II cohort (ABC): The association of functional disability with gender and rapid cycling

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Jan Scott, Professor Heinz Grunze, Dr Thomas Meyer, Jenny Nendick, Hannah Watkins, Emeritus Professor Nicol Ferrier


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Background: Bipolar II disorder (BP II) is a chronic, frequently co-morbid, and complex disorder with similar rates of attempted suicide to BP I. However, case identification for BP II studies that is based on clinician diagnosis alone is prone to error. This paper reports on differences between clinical and research diagnoses and then describes the clinical characteristics of a carefully defined BP II cohort.Methods: A cohort of rigorously defined BP II cases were recruited from a range of primary and secondary health services in the North of England to participate in a programme of cross-sectional and prospective studies. Case identification, and rapid cycling, comorbidities and functioning were examined.Results: Of 355 probable clinical cases of BP II disorder, 176 (similar to 50%) met rigorous diagnostic criteria. The sample mean age was 44 years, with a mean duration of mood disorder of 18 years. Two thirds of the cohort were female (n=116), but only 40% were in paid employment. Current and past year functioning was more impaired in females and those with rapid cycling.Limitations: This paper describes only the preliminary assessments of the cohort, so it was not possible to examine additional factors that may contribute to the explained variance in functioning.Conclusions: This carefully ascertained cohort of BP II cases show few gender differences, except for levels of functional impairment. Interestingly, the most common problem identified with using case note diagnoses of BP II arose because of failure to record prior episodes of mania, not failure to identify hypomania. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved,

Publication metadata

Author(s): Scott J, Grunze H, Meyer TD, Nendick J, Watkins H, Ferrier N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Affective Disorders

Year: 2015

Volume: 185

Pages: 204-208

Print publication date: 01/10/2015

Online publication date: 06/07/2015

Acceptance date: 30/06/2015

ISSN (print): 0165-0327

ISSN (electronic): 1573-2517

Publisher: Elsevier Science

URL: of Affective Disorders

DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2015.06.050


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Funder referenceFunder name
MRC G0800621Medical Research Council in the UK