The specific burden of comorbid anxiety disorders and of substance use disorders in bipolar I disorder

Benjamin I Goldstein, Anthony J Levitt
Bipolar Disorders 2008, 10 (1): 67-78

OBJECTIVES: Uncertainty exists regarding whether comorbid substance use disorders (SUDs) in bipolar I disorder are more prevalent among persons with versus without comorbid anxiety disorders. Moreover, the independent contribution of these comorbidities to the burden of bipolar disorder (BD) is unclear.

METHODS: The 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions was used to identify respondents with lifetime BD (n = 1,411). Illness severity was compared across four groups based on the presence of lifetime anxiety disorders, lifetime SUDs, neither, or both. Variables included lifetime prevalence of mixed mania, prolonged mood episodes, BD-related health service utilization, and forensic history, 12-month prevalence of mania and depression, and current general mental health functioning. Diagnoses were generated using the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule, DSM-IV Version. Analyses were computed separately for males and females.

RESULTS: For females only, the lifetime prevalence of SUDs was significantly greater among those with lifetime anxiety disorders [odds ratio (OR) = 1.41, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.08-1.86]; this was not found among males (OR = 1.15, 95% CI = 0.79-1.68). In multiple logistic regression analyses among both males and females, anxiety disorders were significantly associated with mixed episodes, prolonged depressive episodes, 12-month prevalence of depression, BD-related health service utilization, and poorer current mental health functioning. SUDs were significantly associated with mixed episodes among females, 12-month prevalence of depression among males, and with forensic history among both males and females.

CONCLUSIONS: Whereas comorbid anxiety disorders appear to confer increased liability towards poor mental health functioning and greater BD-related health service utilization, comorbid SUDs are associated with positive forensic history. Early identification and treatment of these comorbid conditions are of paramount importance. Further representative prospective studies are needed.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"