Impact of obsessive-compulsive disorder comorbidity on the sociodemographic and clinical features of patients with bipolar disorder

Compr Psychiatry. May-Jun 2010;51(3):293-7. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2009.07.006. Epub 2009 Aug 28.


Background: In this study, our aim is to determine the prevalence rates of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) comorbidity and to assess the impact of OCD comorbidity on the sociodemographic and clinical features of patients with bipolar disorder (BD).

Methods: Using the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale Symptom Checklist and Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition-IV/Clinical Version on bipolar patients, 2 groups, BD with OCD comorbidity (BD-OCD) and BD without OCD comorbidity, were formed. These groups were compared for sociodemographic and clinical variables.

Results: Of 214 patients with BD, 21.9% of them had obsession and/or compulsion symptoms and 16.3% had symptoms at the OCD level. Although there was no statistically significant difference between the frequency of comorbid OCD in BD-I (22/185, 11.9%) and BD-II (3/13, 23.1%) patients, but OCD was found to be significantly high in BD not otherwise specified (10/16, %62.5) patients than BD-I (P < .001) and BD-II (P = .03). Six patients (17.1%) of the BD-OCD group had chronic course (the presence of at least 1 mood disorder episode with a duration of longer than 2 years), whereas the BD without OCD group had none, which was statistically significant. There were no statistically significant differences between BD-OCD and BD without OCD groups in terms of age, sex, education, marital status, polarity, age of BD onset, presence of psychotic symptoms, presence of rapid cycling, history of suicide attempts, first episode type, and predominant episode type.

Limitations: Main limitation of our study was the assessment of some variables based on retrospective recall.

Conclusions: Our study confirms the high comorbidity rates for OCD in BD patients. Future studies that examine the relationship between OCD and BD using a longitudinal design may be helpful in improving our understanding of the mechanism of this association.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Bipolar Disorder / diagnosis
  • Bipolar Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology*
  • Personality Assessment
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Turkey
  • Young Adult