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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2014 Nov;16(11):499. doi: 10.1007/s11920-014-0499-z.

Excess mortality in bipolar disorders.

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Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA,


Bipolar disorder is associated with high mortality, and people with this disorder on average may die 10-20 years earlier than the general population. This excess and premature mortality continues to occur despite a large and expanding selection of treatment options dating back to lithium and now including anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, and evidence-based psychotherapies. This review summarizes recent findings on mortality in bipolar disorder, with an emphasis on the role of suicide (accounting for about 15% of deaths in this population) and cardiovascular disease (accounting for about 35-40% of deaths). Recent care models and treatments incorporating active outreach, integrated mental and physical health care, and an emphasis on patient self-management have shown promise in reducing excess mortality in this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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