Association between family history of mood disorders and clinical characteristics of bipolar disorder: Results from the Brazilian bipolar research network
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OBJECTIVES: To compare clinical characteristics of bipolar disorder (BD) in patients with and without a family history of mood disorders (FHMD) in a large sample from the Brazilian Research Network of Bipolar Disorders. METHODS: Four-hundred eighty-eight DSM-IV BD patients participating in the Brazilian Research Network of Bipolar Disorders were included. Participants were divided between those with FHMD (n=230) and without FHMD (n=258). We compared these two groups on demographic and clinical variables and performed a logistic regression to identify which variables were most strongly associated with positive family history of mood disorders. RESULTS: BD patients with FHMD presented with significantly higher lifetime prevalence of any anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia, substance abuse, and were more likely to present history of suicide attempts, family history of suicide attempts and suicide, and more psychiatric hospitalizations than BD patients without FHMD. Logistic regression showed that the variables most strongly associated with a positive FHMD were any comorbid anxiety disorder, comorbid substance abuse, and family history of suicide. LIMITATIONS: Cross-sectional study and verification of FHMD by indirect information. CONCLUSION: BD patients with FHMD differ from BD patients without FHMD in rates of comorbid anxiety disorder and substance abuse, number of hospitalizations and suicide attempts. As FHMD is routinely assessed in clinical practice, these findings may help to identify patients at risk for particular manifestations of BD and may point to a common, genetically determined neurobiological substrate that increases the risk of conditions such as comorbidities and suicidality in BD patients.
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