The aim of this study was to assess the comorbidity of lifetime and current prevalences of anxiety disorders among 70 patients with bipolar I disorder in remission using structured diagnostic interviews and to examine the association between comorbidity and several demographic and clinical variables. Forty-three (61.4%) bipolar I patients also met DSM-IV criteria for at least one lifetime comorbid anxiety disorder. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (39%) was the most common comorbid lifetime anxiety disorder, followed by simple phobia (26%) and social phobia (20%). First episode and male sex were found to have lower rates of comorbid current anxiety disorders. The presence of anxiety disorders was related to significantly higher scores on both anxiety and general psychopathology scales. The results of the present study support previous findings of a high comorbidity rate of anxiety disorders in bipolar I disorder cases and indicate that the presence of an anxiety disorder leads to more severe psychopathology levels in bipolar I patients.
Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel