Psychological Medicine



Brief Communication

Vascular risk factors in late onset mania


FREDERICK  CASSIDY  c1 a1 and BERNARD J.  CARROLL  a1
a1 From the Duke-Umstead Bipolar Disorders Program, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA

Abstract

Background. Previous researches have suggested that late onset mania is a distinct subtype associated with medical and neurological disorders. Few studies, however, have focused on vascular risk factors.

Methods. Records of 366 bipolar patients were reviewed and age of first psychiatric hospitalization determined. Late-onset cases were determined empirically from a distribution histogram. Late onset cases were matched to early onset cases and histories of vascular disease/risks and current cholesterol levels compared.

Results. The distribution of age of first psychiatric hospitalization was bimodal with an intermode at age 47. Using that threshold, 6·3% of the cohort was classified as having late onset mania. Vascular risks factors were greater and current cholesterol levels higher in the late onset group.

Conclusions. Late onset mania is associated with greater vascular risk factors. The bimodal appearance of age of first psychiatric hospitalization in this study provides further support of late onset mania as a distinct manic subtype with possibly a different, vascular aetiology. Control of these vascular risks may impact on the incidence of late onset mania, as well as on its clinical management.


Correspondence:
c1 Address for correspondence: Dr F. Cassidy, Duke-Umstead Bipolar Disorders Program, Box 3414, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


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