Gender-specific lipid profiles in patients with bipolar disorder

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, 401 Quarry Road, Stanford, CA 94305-5723, USA.
Journal of Psychiatric Research (Impact Factor: 3.96). 03/2011; 45(8):1036-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.02.002
Source: PubMed


High rates of dyslipidemia and insulin resistance (IR) are reported in patients with bipolar disorder (BD). We assessed gender effects upon rates of dyslipidemia/IR in outpatients with BD.
Data from 491 outpatients (ages 18-88) seen in the Stanford Bipolar Disorders clinic between 2000 and 2007 were evaluated. Patients were followed longitudinally and received naturalistic treatment. BD patients (n = 234; 61% female; 42% Type I, 47% Type II, 11% NOS) with a mean age of 40.3 ± 14.0 years, mean BMI 26.8 ± 6.4, and 81% Caucasian, who had one of four lipid measures (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, TG) at clinicians' discretion, a psychiatry clinic visit within 2 months of laboratory, and were not medicated for dyslipidemia were included. IR was imputed from TG/HDL ratio.
Women, compared with men, had significantly lower mean triglycerides (105.58 ± 64.12 vs. 137.99 ± 105.14, p = 0.009), higher mean HDL cholesterol (60.17 ± 17.56 vs. 46.07 ± 11.91 mg/dl, p < 0.001), lower mean LDL cholesterol (109.84 ± 33.47 vs. 123.79 ± 35.96 mg/dl, p = 0.004), and lower TG/HDL ratio (1.98 ± 1.73 vs. 3.59 ± 3.14 p < 0.001). Compared to men, women had a significantly lower prevalence of abnormal total cholesterol, LDL, TG, HDL, and TG/HDL ratio. No significant differences were found between men and women with regard to age, BMI, ethnicity, educational attainment, smoking habits, bipolar illness type, illness severity or duration, or weight-liable medication exposure.
In outpatients with BD, women had more favorable lipid profiles than men despite similar demographic variables. This sample of primarily Caucasian and educated patients, receiving vigilant clinical monitoring, may represent a relatively healthy psychiatric population demonstrating gender differences similar to those in the general population.

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