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Thirty-year cardiovascular risk score in patients with newly diagnosed bipolar disorder and their unaffected first-degree relatives

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OBJECTIVES:: Bipolar disorder is associated with a decreased life expectancy of 8-12 years. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of excess mortality. For the first time, we investigated the Framingham 30-year risk score of cardiovascular disease in patients with newly diagnosed/first-episode bipolar disorder, their unaffected first-degree relatives and healthy individuals.

METHODS:: In a cross-sectional study, we compared the Framingham 30-year risk score of cardiovascular disease in 221 patients with newly diagnosed/first-episode bipolar disorder, 50 of their unaffected first-degree relatives and 119 healthy age- and sex-matched individuals with no personal or first-degree family history of affective disorder. Among patients with bipolar disorder, we further investigated medication- and illness-related variables associated with cardiovascular risk.

RESULTS:: The 30-year risk of cardiovascular disease was 98.5% higher in patients with bipolar disorder ( p = 0.017) and 85.4% higher in unaffected first-degree relatives ( p = 0.042) compared with healthy individuals in models adjusted for age and sex. When categorizing participants in low cardiovascular risk without considering age and sex distribution among participants, 81% of patients were at low risk, versus 92% of unaffected relatives and 89% of healthy individuals. Of the patients 209 (94.6%) were diagnosed within the preceding 2 years. Smoking was more prevalent among patients with bipolar disorder (45.2%) and their unaffected first-degree relatives (20.4%) compared with healthy individuals (12.8%). Similarly, dyslipidemia was more common among patients with bipolar disorder compared with healthy individuals. Treatment with psychotropic medication with metabolic adverse effects was associated with higher 30-year cardiovascular disease risk score, whereas we did not find illness-related variables associated with cardiovascular risk among patients with bipolar disorder.

CONCLUSION:: We found an enhanced cardiovascular disease risk score in patients with newly diagnosed bipolar disorder and their unaffected first-degree relatives, which points to a need for specific primary preventive interventions against smoking and dyslipidemia in these populations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Pages (from-to)4867418815987
ISSN0004-8674
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2018

ID: 56092311