Systematic review of the prevalence of bipolar disorder and bipolar spectrum disorders in population-based studies

Dell'Aglio, J.é C.; Basso, L.A.; Argimon, I.I.d.L.; Arteche, A.

Trends in Psychiatry and PsychoTherapy 35(2): 99-105

2013


ISSN/ISBN: 2237-6089
PMID: 25923299
DOI: 10.1590/s2237-60892013000200002
Accession: 058962378

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Abstract
This paper describes the findings of a systematic literature review aimed at providing an overview of the lifetime prevalence of bipolar disorder and bipolar spectrum disorders in population-based studies. Databases MEDLINE, ProQuest, Psychnet, and Web of Science were browsed for papers published in English between 1999 and May 2012 using the following search string: bipolar disorders OR bipolar spectrum disorders AND prevalence OR cross-sectional OR epidemiology AND population-based OR non-clinical OR community based. The search yielded a total of 434 papers, but only those published in peer-reviewed journals and with samples aged ≥ 18 years were included, resulting in a final sample of 18 papers. Results revealed rather heterogeneous findings concerning the prevalence of bipolar disorders and bipolar spectrum disorders. Lifetime prevalence of bipolar disorder ranged from 0.1 to 7.5%, whereas lifetime prevalence of bipolar spectrum disorders ranged from 2.4 to 15.1%. Differences in the rates of bipolar disorder and bipolar spectrum disorders may be related to the consideration of subthreshold criteria upon diagnosis. Differences in the prevalence of different subtypes of the disorder are discussed in light of diagnostic criteria and instruments applied.