A recent study corroborates past findings implicating anxiety disorders as salient influences on the course of bipolar spectrum disorders (BSDs). Moreover, results extend prior research by indicating that anxiety disorders may be linked with reduced manic/hypomanic phases of illness. Researchers examined the association of lifetime anxiety disorders with prospective manic/hypomanic vs major depressive episodes in 244 young adults (aged 17-26) with milder forms of BSDs. First, bivariate analyses assessed differences in baseline clinical characteristics between participants with and without DSM-IV anxiety diagnoses. Second, negative binomial regression analyses tested whether lifetime anxiety predicted number of manic/hypomanic or major depressive episodes developed during the study. Third, survival analyses evaluated whether lifetime anxiety predicted time to onset of manic/hypomanic and major depressive episodes. They found:
- Anxiety history was associated with greater illness severity at baseline.
- Over follow-up, anxiety history predicted fewer manic/hypomanic episodes, but did not predict number of major depressive episodes.
- Anxiety history also was associated with longer time to onset of manic/hypomanic episodes, but shorter time to onset of depressive episodes.
Titone MK, Freed RD, O’Garro-Moore JK, et al. The role of lifetime anxiety history in the course of bipolar spectrum disorders. [Published online ahead of print April 2, 2018]. Psychiatry Res. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2018.03.087.
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