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August 24, 2005

Bipolar Disorder Increases Anxiety Disorder Risk

Adolescent bipolar disorder has been found to significantly correlate with an increased risk of having an anxiety disorder when one grows older. The researchers note that bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders are not treated the same and therefore it is important to diagnose them both and have a treatment plan that will work to alleviate both problems.

This relationship was studied by examining 1,397 adolescents who were all under the age of 18. Of these, 297 were diagnosed with bipolar disorder and 1100 were diagnosed with disruptive behavior disorder. Those who had bipolar disorder were more likely to have more anxiety syndromes, and multiple anxiety syndromes that were not simply linked to a specific type of anxiety disorder. Those with bipolar disorder had anxiety syndromes at a level of 2.0 whereas those with behavior disorders were at a level of 1.1.

There are many distinctly different anxiety disorders and it seems that bipolar disorder increased the risk of developing nearly all of them. "Indeed, among the bipolar disorder participants, the risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder was 5.4-times higher than for those with disruptive behavior disorders, while increased risks were also seen for obsessive–compulsive disorder (odds ratio [OR]=2.0), separation anxiety (OR=2.3), social phobia (OR=2.1), overanxious disorder (OR=2.2), agoraphobia (OR=2.6 fold), and panic disorder (OR=3.2)" (PsychiatrySource.com, 2005).

Researchers concluded from their findings that bipolar disorder increased the risk of developing many anxiety disorders when bipolar disorder appeared in one's youth. Previously a link was found solely between bipolar disorder and panic disorder, but this study shows that its affects are not limited to only that anxiety disorder.

Original Source: Pediatric bipolar disorders increase anxiety disorder risk. PsychiatrySource.com. August 24, 2005.

This research report has been published in: J Affect Disord 2005; 88: 19–26.

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