Anxiety as a marker of severity in acute mania

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2012 Nov;126(5):351-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2012.01882.x. Epub 2012 May 24.


Objective: Anxiety has scarcely been studied in acute mania. The aim of this study was to assess anxiety symptoms during manic episodes and their impact on clinical outcomes.

Method: Observational, cross-sectional multicentre study. Anxiety was measured using the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS). Bivariate and multiple linear regression analyses were performed using the HARS score as the dependent variable.

Results: Two hundred and forty-two patients admitted with a diagnosis of acute manic episode according to DSM-IV TR criteria and a Young Mania Rating Scale>20 were analysed. Mean age was 43 years (SD=11.9) and 57% were women. Forty-six per cent of patients (n=104) presented moderate to severe anxiety symptoms (HARS score>14). Anxiety was significantly associated with severity of manic symptoms (P<0.0001). Patients with anxiety had 20% longer hospitalizations (mean 21 days, CI95% 19.7-23.7).

Conclusion: An association of anxiety symptoms with greater severity in acute mania was demonstrated. The close relationship between anxiety and manic symptoms highlights the need for greater clinical attention to anxiety in this population. Further studies are necessary to determine whether effective treatment of anxiety symptoms could improve clinical and care outcomes.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Bipolar Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index