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Risk of puerperal and non-puerperal recurrence of illness following bipolar affective puerperal (post-partum) psychosis

  • Emma Robertson (a1), Ian Jones (a2), Sayeed Haque (a3), Roger Holder (a4) and Nick Craddock (a5)...

Summary

The clinical value of information on the risk of future psychiatric illness in women who have experienced puerperal (post-partum) psychosis has been limited by inconsistencies in terminology and nosology. Here we report rates of subsequent puerperal and non-puerperal episodes, in a well-characterised sample of women diagnosed with clearly defined bipolar affective puerperal psychosis (n=103). Out of 54 women having further children, 31 (57%; 95% Cl 44–69) experienced an additional puerperal psychotic episode, and 64 of 103 women (62%; 95%Cl 52–71) experienced a non-puerperal affective episode during the follow-up period (mean duration 9 years). A history of bipolar episodes prior to the puerperal psychosis did not predict risk following subsequent pregnancies, but positive family history of mental illness predicted shorter time to non-puerperal relapse.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Ian Jones, Neuropsychiatric Genetics Unit, Department of Psychological Medicine, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK. Tel: + 44 (0)29 2074 4663; fax: +44 (0)29 2074 6554; e-mail: jonesirl@cf.ac.uk

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Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

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References

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Risk of puerperal and non-puerperal recurrence of illness following bipolar affective puerperal (post-partum) psychosis

  • Emma Robertson (a1), Ian Jones (a2), Sayeed Haque (a3), Roger Holder (a4) and Nick Craddock (a5)...
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