Life expectancy in bipolar disorder

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

OBJECTIVE: Life expectancy in patients with bipolar disorder has been reported to be decreased by 11 to 20 years. These calculations are based on data for individuals at the age of 15 years. However, this may be misleading for patients with bipolar disorder in general as most patients have a later onset of illness. The aim of the present study was to calculate the remaining life expectancy for patients of different ages with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

METHODS: Using nationwide registers of all inpatient and outpatient contacts to all psychiatric hospitals in Denmark from 1970 to 2012 we calculated remaining life expectancies for values of age 15, 25, 35 ⃛ 75 years among all individuals alive in year 2000.

RESULTS: For the typical male or female patient aged 25 to 45 years, the remaining life expectancy was decreased by 12.0-8.7 years and 10.6-8.3 years, respectively. The ratio between remaining life expectancy in bipolar disorder and that of the general population decreased with age, indicating that patients with bipolar disorder start losing life-years during early and mid-adulthood.

CONCLUSIONS: Life expectancy in bipolar disorder is decreased substantially, but less so than previously reported. Patients start losing life-years during early and mid-adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBipolar Disorders
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)543-8
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

ID: 154137897