Children of individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) from the US had higher rates of depression, BD, and drug abuse vs their European counterparts in a study of 968 outpatients. Participants, all of whom had BD, participated in a treatment outcome network and completed a questionnaire about their illness and family history of illness.
Investigators found that the number of illnesses in the offspring was related to:
• Having a patient with BD from the US.
• Experiencing a childhood adversity.
• More than 20 prior episodes.
• More parental psychiatric illness.
The authors acknowledged that the results are limited because they were self-reported, but noted that findings were similar to a prior study that used direct interviews.
Citation: Post R, Alrshuler L, Kupka R, et al. More illness in offspring of bipolar patients from the U.S. compared to Europe. J Affect Disord. 2016;191:180-186.