Prevalence and Impact of Comorbid Anxiety and Bipolar Disorder.
J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(suppl 1):5-7
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Comorbid conditions pose a serious risk to patients with bipolar disorder, but anxiety comorbidity
poses a specific hazard due to the increased negative impact of anxiety on illness course and treatment.
Anxiety comorbidity appears to be highly prevalent and is associated with intensified symptoms
of bipolar disorder and additional comorbid disorders, resulting in a negative impact on the patient
and on the course of the illness. The presence of anxiety in bipolar patients is also associated with
a lowered age at onset, hampered patient response to treatment such as lithium, increased rates of
suicide and substance abuse, and decreased quality of life. Patients can experience work, family, and
social impairment and be made to contend with increased health care costs and strains on family support.
Studies are few and have a limited scope, and many have failed to consider the clinical significance
of comorbid anxiety and bipolar disorder. Because the degree to which anxiety impacts patients
with bipolar disorder is not fully known, more information is needed about the relationship between
bipolar disorder and anxiety.