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Irritability Strongly Linked to Prior Anxiety in BD

J Psychiatr Res; ePub 2016 May 13; Yuen, et al

In bipolar disorder (BD), current irritability was robustly related to current/prior anxiety, a recent study found. Researchers assessed outpatients referred to the Stanford Bipolar Disorders Clinic during 2000 to 2011, using the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for BD (STEP-BD) Affective Disorders Evaluation. They found:

• Among 497 BD outpatients (239 Type I, 258 Type II, 58.1% female; mean ± SD age 35.6 ± 13.1 years), 301 (60.6%) had baseline current irritability.

• Patients with vs without current irritability had significantly higher rates of current anxiety (77.1% vs 42.9%) and a history of anxiety disorder (73.1% vs 52.6%).

• Current irritability was more robustly related to current anxiety than to current anhedonia, sadness, or euphoria, and current irritability-current anxiety associations persisted across current predominant mood states.

• Current irritability was more robustly related to past anxiety than to all other assessed illness characteristics, including 1o family history of mood disorder, history of alcohol/substance use disorder, bipolar subtype, and current syndromal/subsyndromal depression.

Citation: Yuen LD, Miller S, Wang PW, et al. Current irritability robustly related to current and prior anxiety in bipolar disorder. [Published online head of print May 13, 2016]. J Psychiatr Res. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2016.05.006.