Gender differences in prevalence, risk, and clinical correlates of alcoholism comorbidity in bipolar disorder

University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 13.56). 06/2003; 160(5):883-9. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.160.5.883
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The prevalence of lifetime alcohol abuse and/or dependence (alcoholism) in patients with bipolar disorder has been reported to be higher than in all other axis I psychiatric diagnoses. This study examined gender-specific relationships between alcoholism and bipolar illness, which have previously received little systematic study.
The prevalence of lifetime alcoholism in 267 outpatients enrolled in the Stanley Foundation Bipolar Network was evaluated by using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV. Alcoholism and its relationship to retrospectively assessed measures of the course of bipolar illness were evaluated by patient-rated and clinician-administered questionnaires.
As in the general population, more men (49%, 57 of 116) than women with bipolar disorder (29%, 44 of 151) met the criteria for lifetime alcoholism. However, the risk of having alcoholism was greater for women with bipolar disorder (odds ratio=7.35) than for men with bipolar disorder (odds ratio=2.77), compared with the general population. Alcoholism was associated with a history of polysubstance use in women with bipolar disorder and with a family history of alcoholism in men with bipolar disorder.
This study suggests that there are gender differences in the prevalence, risk, and clinical correlates of alcoholism in bipolar illness. Although this study is limited by the retrospective assessment of illness variables, the magnitude of these gender-specific differences is substantial and warrants further prospective study.

1 Follower
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: To determine whether the results from placebo-controlled studies conducted in patients with manic episode can be generalised to a routine population of hospitalised acute manic patients. Methods: A list of four most prevalent inclusion and the nine most prevalent exclusion criteria was constructed for participation in previous randomised-controlled trials (RCTs). On the basis of this list, a consecutive series of 68 patients with 74 episodes of acute mania who had been referred for routine treatment were retrospectively assessed to determine their eligibility for a hypothetical but representative randomised controlled trial. Results: Only 16% of the manic episodes would qualify for the hypothetical trial (male episodes 28%, female episodes 10%), whereas 37%, 20% and 27% of the manic episodes would have to be excluded because they did no fulfil one, two or at least three of the inclusion or exclusion criteria. The most common exclusion criterion was “no use of contraceptives”. If this criterion was not taken into account, 28% of the male episodes and 33% of the female episodes would qualify for inclusion in the hypothetical study. Apart from the use of contraceptives, no significant differences between male and female episodes were observed in the reasons for exclusion: 11% suicidal ideation, 29% prior mood stabilising medication, 1% depot medication, 22% other axis I diagnosis, 27% internal disease somatic disease, 5% neurological disorder, 15% alcohol use disorder and 10% drug use disorder. Conclusion: Only a small percentage acute manic episodes in a routine mental hospital seem to qualify for a standard placebo-controlled RCT. It could be argued, however, that certain exclusion criteria (e.g. no use of contraceptives) are not very likely to reduce the external validity of a standard RCT. In contrast, some other exclusion criteria (e.g. comorbid alcohol and drug use disorders) may have resulted in an overestimation of the efficacy of anti-manic medications. These notions should be taken into account when evaluating the results of RCTs in bipolar patients with an acute manic episode.
    European Neuropsychopharmacology 08/2004; 14(4):319-323. DOI:10.1016/S0924-977X(03)00209-8 · 5.40 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Glutamate system is modified by ethanol and contributes both to the euphoric and the dysphoric consequences of intoxication, but there is now growing evidence that the glutamatergic system also plays a central role in the neurobiology and treatment of mood disorders, including major depressive disorders and bipolar disorders. We speculate that, using acamprosate, patients with bipolar depression (BIP-A) can take advantage of the anti-glutamate effect of acamprosate to "survive" in treatment longer than peers suffering from non-bipolar depression (NBIP-A) after detoxification. Method: We retrospectively evaluated the efficacy of a long-term (six-month) acamprosate treatment, after alcohol detoxification, in 41 patients (19 males and 22 females), who could be classified as depressed alcoholics, while taking into account the presence/absence of bipolarity. Results: During the period of observation most NBIP-A patients relapsed, whereas a majority of BIP-A patients were still in treatment at the end of their period of observation. The cumulative proportion of 'surviving' patients was significantly higher in BIP-A patients, but this finding was not related to gender or to other demographic or clinically investigated characteristics. The treatment time effect was significant in both subgroups. The treatment time-group effect was significant (and significantly better) for bipolar patients on account of changes in the severity of their illness. Limitations: Retrospective methodology and the lack of DSM criteria in diagnosing bipolarity. Conclusions: Bipolarity seems to be correlated with the efficacy of acamprosate treatment in inducing patients to refrain from alcohol use after detoxification (while avoiding relapses) in depressed alcoholics. Placebo-controlled clinical trials are now warranted to check the validity of this hypothesis.
    International journal of environmental research and public health 12/2014; 11. DOI:10.3390/ijerph111212983 · 1.61 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sex differences have been observed in mania phenotypes in humans. However the mechanisms underlying this difference are poorly understood. Activating the lateral hypothalamus is implicated in manic-like behaviors in rodents. Using newly established lateral hypothalamus kindled (LHK) rat mania model, we investigated sex differences of manic-like behaviors and its correlation with voluntary ethanol intake. We stimulated the lateral hypothalamus bilaterally in the male and female Wistar rats over five consecutive days. We recorded and quantified kindling-induced behaviors for each individual animal. We also assessed ethanol consumption using a two-bottle choice ethanol drinking as well as circadian locomotor activity counts daily throughout the experiment. We found notable sex differences in several aspects of manic-like behaviors during kindling. Males exhibited a significantly increased locomotor activity during the light phase, and reduced rest interval. On the other hand, females displayed significantly higher ethanol consumption and more frequent rearing behavior. However, no sex differences were present in the duration of sexual, feeding or grooming behaviors or in dark-phase activity counts. The excessive alcohol intake in LHK female rats is reminiscent of clinically reported sex differences in bipolar patients while the other phenotypic sex differences such as rearing and locomotor activity are less clearly described in clinical studies. Overall, our results lend further evidence for the validity of the LHK rat as a useful model to study brain region-specific molecular changes during mania and its correlation with alcohol use disorders.
    Translational Psychiatry 03/2015; 5(3):e534. DOI:10.1038/tp.2015.30 · 4.36 Impact Factor