Risk of puerperal and non-puerperal recurrence of illness following bipolar affective puerperal (post-partum) psychosis

Neuropsychiatric Genetics Unit, Department of Psychological Medicine, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, Wales, UK.
The British Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 7.34). 04/2005; 186:258-9. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.186.3.258
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The clinical value of information on the risk of future psychiatric illness in women who have experienced puerperal (post-partum) psychosis has been limited by inconsistencies in terminology and nosology. Here we report rates of subsequent puerperal and non-puerperal episodes, in a well characterised sample of women diagnosed with clearly defined bipolar affective puerperal psychosis (n=103). Out of 54 women having further children, 31(57%; 95% CI 44-69) experienced an additional puerperal psychotic episode, and 64 of 103 women (62%; 95% CI 52-71) experienced a non-puerperal affective episode during the follow-up period (mean duration 9 years). A history of bipolar episodes prior to the puerperal psychosis did not predict risk following subsequent pregnancies, but positive family history of mental illness predicted shorter time to non-puerperal relapse.

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