Death Risk From External Causes Six Times Higher In Bipolar Individuals, Study Shows 

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A recent study demonstrates that bipolar disorder raises the risk of premature death by over six times. Severe depression, marked by extreme mood swings, is linked to higher chances of death from accidents, violence, or suicide. Furthermore, individuals with this condition face double the risk of dying from physical causes, often exacerbated by alcohol use.

Reduction of death risk from external factors in bipolar necessary

Study authors said that there is need to develop enhanced interventions that can reduce death risk for external causes to prevent premature deaths linked to bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder has become a widespread global health issue, especially affecting young adults and leading to a rise in suicides. In the United States, the annual medical costs linked to this condition are approximately $326 billion. It is characterized by alternating manic highs and depressive lows in patients.

Bipolar disorder affects a comparable number of individuals as cancer and is more prevalent than dementia, autism, epilepsy, and rheumatoid arthritis combined. Dr. Paljarvi’s research indicates a significant risk of death from external causes in all age groups, particularly through suicide, underscoring the need for personalized prediction and prevention strategies.

Researchers have created and tested effective, scalable models to predict risk in individuals with bipolar disorders. If these models are integrated with suicide prevention interventions like safety planning, they can significantly decrease mortality rates. Similar prediction models could also be developed for premature mortality caused by other factors, taking inspiration from well-calibrated prediction models used in cardiovascular medicine.

Bipolar individuals six times more likely to die from external causes

In a study from 2004 to 2018, researchers used nationwide social and medical insurance registers to monitor the health of individuals aged 15 to 64 with bipolar disorder. They tracked 47,018 people, 57 percent of whom were women, and found that 3,300 individuals (7 percent) with bipolar disorder died during the monitoring period. Comparatively, the general population had 141,536 deaths. Those with bipolar disorder faced a six-fold higher risk of death from external causes and a two-fold higher risk of death from physical causes.

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