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J Affect Disord. 2014 Sep;166:347-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2014.04.050. Epub 2014 May 6.

Correlates of psychiatric co-morbidity in a sample of Egyptian patients with bipolar disorder.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Psychiatry, Ain Shams University, PO Box: 11657, Cairo, Egypt.
  • 2Institute of Psychiatry, Ain Shams University, PO Box: 11657, Cairo, Egypt. Electronic address:
  • 3Institute of Psychiatry, Cairo University, Egypt.



Bipolar disorder (BD) is a complex, chronic mood disorder involving repeated episodes of depression and mania/hypomania. Two thirds of patients with bipolar disorder have a comorbid psychiatric condition. This study aims to assess the prevalence of Axis I diagnosis with its socio-demographic and clinical correlates among a sample of Egyptian patients with bipolar disorder.


Out of the 400 patients who were enrolled in the study from number of governmental and private psychiatric hospitals in Cairo, Egypt, 350 patients diagnosed with bipolar affective disorders (157 females and 193 males) with age ranging from 18 to 55years were selected. Patients were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I disorder (Research Version) (SCID-I).


Prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity among BD patients was 20.3% (71 patients) among which 63 patients (18%) had comorbid substance abuse and 8 patients (2.3%) had comorbid anxiety disorders.


The study was limited by its cross sectional design with some patients having florid symptoms during assessment, not having a well representative community sample. This might have decreased the reliability and prevalence of lifetime psychiatric comorbidity due to uncooperativeness or memory bias. The study group was composed of bipolar patients attending tertiary care service which limits the possibility of generalizing these results on different treatment settings.


Substance abuse followed by anxiety disorders was found to be the most common psychiatric comorbidity. Family history of psychiatric disorders and substance abuse as well as current psychotic features were highly correlated with comorbidity.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Anxiety disorders; Bipolar disorder; Comorbidity; Substance abuse

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