Mood stabilizers and risk of all-cause, natural, and suicide mortality in bipolar disorder

Acta Psychiatrica ScandinavicaScott Cunningham MD PhD, et al. | November 15, 2022

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Longevity is decreased in patients with bipolar disorder by nearly 20 years, and the longevity gap between patients with bipolar disorder (and other psychiatric disorders) and the general population is on the rise.

As shown in the current study, use of mood stabilizers by patients with bipolar disorder resulted in a significant reduction in all-cause mortality and suicide.

This was a nationwide cohort study. Data were obtained from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database involving 25,787 patients with bipolar disorder. Standardized mortality ratios were calculated comparing deaths among bipolar patients and the general population.

The standardized mortality ratios for all-cause mortality, suicide, and natural mortality were 5.26, 26.02, and 4.68, respectively.

Patients with bipolar disorder who were prescribed a mood stabilizer had decreased 5-year risks for all-cause mortality, suicide, and natural mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 0.58, 0.60, and 0.55, respectively).

Among the mood stabilizers prescribed, lithium was associated with the greatest risk reduction for all-cause mortality, suicide, and natural mortality (aHR = 0.38, 0.39, and 0.37, respectively).

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