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J Affect Disord. 2009 Jun;115(3):302-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2008.09.008. Epub 2008 Oct 26.

Cardiovascular risk in patients with bipolar disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Oviedo, Spain; Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental, CIBERSAM, Spain.



To date, little is known about cardiovascular risk (CVR) in terms of coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular mortality risk (CMR) in patients with bipolar disorder. This study provides data on the overall risk of any fatal or non-fatal coronary heart disease (CHD) and on the cardiovascular mortality risk (CMR) within 10 years in these patients.


Naturalistic, cross-sectional, multicenter study conducted in Spain. Patients were evaluated for cardiovascular risk using the Framinghan function (CHD) and the Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) function (CMR).


The mean age was 46.6 years and 49% were male. Forty-six percent were in remission. Ten-year CHD risk was 7.6% (males 10.2% versus females 4.7%, p<0.001) and 10-year CMR was 1.8% (males 2.2% versus females 1.3%, p 0.161). Fifty-one percent smoked and 34% was obese. Metabolic syndrome was present in 22.4% of the sample (35.6% according to AHA and NHLBI criteria). Cardiovascular risk significantly increases with age, body mass index and presence of metabolic syndrome.


The cross-sectional design of the study.


Cardiovascular risk is high in patients with bipolar disorder. It is associated with age, body mass index and metabolic syndrome. Psychiatrists should be aware of this issue and carefully monitor these patients for cardiovascular risk factors, including cigarette smoking, as part of the standard of care when treating them.

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