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A proportion of patients with bipolar disorder (BD) manifests with only unipolar mania (UM). This study examined relevant clinical features and psychosocial characteristics in UM compared with depressive-manic (D-M) subgroups. Moreover, comorbidity patterns of physical conditions and psychiatric disorders were evaluated between the UM and D-M groups.
This clinical retrospective study (N = 1015) analyzed cases with an average of 10 years of illness duration and a nationwide population-based cohort (N = 8343) followed up for 10 years in the Taiwanese population. UM was defined as patients who did not experience depressive episodes and were not prescribed adequate antidepressant treatment during the disease course of BD. Logistic regression models adjusted for relevant covariates were used to evaluate the characteristics and lifetime comorbidities in the two groups.
The proportion of UM ranged from 12.91% to 14.87% in the two datasets. Compared with the D-M group, the UM group had more psychotic symptoms, fewer suicidal behaviors, a higher proportion of morningness chronotype, better sleep quality, higher extraversion, lower neuroticism, and less harm avoidance personality traits. Substantially different lifetime comorbidity patterns were observed between the two groups.
Patients with UM exhibited distinct clinical and psychosocial features compared with patients with the D-M subtype. In particular, a higher risk of comorbid cardiovascular diseases and anxiety disorders is apparent in patients with D-M. Further studies are warranted to investigate the underlying mechanisms for diverse presentations in subgroups of BDs.
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