Bipolar disorder in the elderly: clinical and socio-demographic characteristics [Abstract in English]<\b>

Stevin Zung, Quirino Cordeiro, Beny Lafer, Andréia de Fátima Nascimento, Homero Vallada


Aims: To describe the clinical, psychiatric and socio-demographic characteristics of elderly patients with bipolar disorder.
Methods: Patients with bipolar disorder aged 60 or more were selected, and their socio-demographic and clinical characteristics were obtained from the medical charts and from interviews with each patient and with at least one close relative.
Results: A sample of 135 individuals was enrolled in the study. Elderly bipolar patients in the sample had higher rate of hypothyroidism, cancer and diabetes mellitus when compared to published data about the general elderly population. Presence of psychotic symptoms was associated with lower levels of educational attainment, earlier age of disease onset, more manic episodes and more frequent psychiatric hospitalizations. The mean age of onset was higher when compared to other studies, and the nature of the first affective episode indicates more episodes from the same polarity.
Conclusions: The present study, performed in elderly patients with bipolar disorder, confirmed important clinical findings of investigations conducted in adult patients with such disorder, and brings the novelty of consolidating these findings by studying a sample of elderly patients with a long time of recorded disorder progression.



e-ISSN: 1980-6108 | ISSN-L: 1806-5562

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