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Br J Psychiatry. 2010 Feb;196(2):109-15. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.108.060368.

Excellent school performance at age 16 and risk of adult bipolar disorder: national cohort study.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London SE5 8AF, UK. j.maccabe@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Anecdotal and biographical reports suggest that bipolar disorder may be associated with high IQ or creativity, but evidence for any such connection is weak.

AIMS:

To investigate possible associations between scholastic achievement and later bipolar disorder, using prospective data, in a whole-population cohort study.

METHOD:

Using individual school grades from all individuals finishing compulsory schooling in Sweden between 1988 and 1997, we tested associations between scholastic achievement at age 15-16 and hospital admission for psychosis between ages 17 and 31, adjusting for potential confounders.

RESULTS:

Individuals with excellent school performance had a nearly fourfold increased risk of later bipolar disorder compared with those with average grades (hazard ratio HR = 3.79, 95% CI 2.11-6.82). This association appeared to be confined to males. Students with the poorest grades were also at moderately increased risk of bipolar disorder (HR = 1.86, 95% CI 1.06-3.28).

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings provide support for the hypothesis that exceptional intellectual ability is associated with bipolar disorder.

PMID:
20118454
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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