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Psychol Med. 2005 Jun;35(6):855-63.

Incidence and distribution of first-episode mania by age: results from a 35-year study.

Author information

  • 1Section of General Psychiatry, Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London, UK. nkennedy@stpatsmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Few epidemiological studies have investigated incidence by age or age at onset distributions for mania or bipolar disorder. The current study aimed to determine these in a defined area in south-east London, over a 35-year period.

METHOD:

All cases of first-episode mania presenting to psychiatric services in Camberwell, south-east London, between 1965 and 1999 were identified. Incidence rates by age, using 5-year age-at-onset bands, were estimated and the structure of the age-at-onset distribution for first-episode mania was investigated using finite mixture distributions (admixture analysis).

RESULTS:

The incidence of DSM-IV bipolar I disorder (BP I), first manic episode peaked in early adult life (16.38/100,000 population per year in the 21-25 years band) with a much smaller peak in mid-life. A two-component normal mixture distribution fitted age at onset better than either a single normal distribution or a three-component mixture, implying the existence of early and later onset subgroups. The early onset group had a stronger family history of bipolar disorder, and showed more acute, severe and atypical symptoms during their first manic episode.

CONCLUSIONS:

The incidence of mania peaks in early adult life but there is clear evidence of early and later onset subgroups which may represent different forms of disorder.

PMID:
15997605
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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