Older women with bipolar disorder are more likely than older men with the condition to have respiratory, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, and endocrinological comorbidities, a study in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry suggests. The study also found that older men with bipolar are more likely than older men without the condition to have evidence of cardiovascular, renal, and endocrinological diseases.
“Our findings indicate that the health needs of [older adults with bipolar disorder] may vary according to sex and suggest that the health consequences of bipolar disorder may be more prominent in women than men,” wrote Osvaldo P. Almeida, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Western Australia and colleagues.
The researchers analyzed data from 1,407 adults with bipolar disorder aged 50 to 95 years in the Global Aging & Geriatric Experiments in Bipolar Disorder (GAGE-BD) database, an international consortium of investigators involved in research on bipolar disorder in older adults.
Compared with older men with bipolar disorder, women with the condition had 1.75 times the odds of having an endocrine disease, 1.7 times the odds of having a musculoskeletal disease, 1.67 times the odds of having a gastrointestinal disease, 1.28 times the odds of having a respiratory disease, and 1.10 times the odds of having a cardiovascular disease.
In a second analysis, the researchers compared data from 622 men aged 65 years or older who did not have bipolar disorder in the Health in Men Study with data from the men with bipolar disorder in the GAGE-BD study. Compared with the older men without bipolar disorder, men with the condition had 8.84 times the odds of having a renal disease, 2.54 times the odds of having an endocrine disease, and 2.41 times the odds of having a cardiovascular disease.
“These findings highlight the need for more detailed studies to better understand the pathways that render [older adults with bipolar disorder] more vulnerable to poor health outcomes, particularly women,” Almeida and colleagues wrote.
For related information, see the American Journal of Psychiatry article “GERI-BD:A Randomized Double-Blind Controlled Trial of Lithium and Divalproex in theTreatment of Mania in Older Patients With Bipolar Disorder.”
Learn About Candidates in APA’s 2022 Election in Virtual Town Halls
APA members have the opportunity to virtually meet the 2022 candidates during a series of four town hall sessions beginning tonight (December 13) at 8 p.m. ET. Each session will include a seven-minute presentation from each candidate on their platform followed by a Q&A.
- December 13: President-elect, treasurer, and trustee-at-large:
- December 14: Area 3 trustee (elected by Area 3 members)
- December 15: Area 6 trustee (elected by Area 6 members)
- December 16: Resident-fellow member (RFM) trustee-elect (elected by RFMs)