Increased illness burden in women with comorbid bipolar and premenstrual dysphoric disorder: data from 1 099 women from STEP-BD study
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BACKGROUND: The impact of comorbid premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) in women with bipolar disorder (BD) is largely unknown. AIMS: We compared illness characteristics and female-specific mental health problems between women with BD with and without PMDD. MATERIALS & METHODS: A total of 1 099 women with BD who participated in the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD) were studied. Psychiatric diagnoses and illness characteristics were assessed using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview. Female-specific mental health was assessed using a self-report questionnaire developed for STEP-BD. PMDD diagnosis was based on DSM-5 criteria. RESULTS: Women with comorbid BD and PMDD had an earlier onset of bipolar illness (P < 0.001) and higher rates of rapid cycling (P = 0.039), and increased number of past-year hypo/manic (P = 0.003), and lifetime/past-year depressive episodes (P < 0.05). Comorbid PMDD was also associated with higher proportion of panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, bulimia nervosa, substance abuse, and adult attention deficit disorder (all P < 0.05). There was a closer gap between BD onset and age of menarche in women with comorbid PMDD (P = 0.003). Women with comorbid PMDD reported more severe mood symptoms during the perinatal period and while taking oral contraceptives (P < 0.001). DISCUSSION: The results from this study is consistent with research suggesting that sensitivity to endogenous hormones may impact the onset and the clinical course of BD. CONCLUSIONS: The comorbidity between PMDD and BD is associated with worse clinical outcomes and increased illness burden.
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