The distinction of bipolar II disorder from bipolar I and recurrent unipolar depression: results of a controlled family study

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1993 Apr;87(4):279-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1993.tb03372.x.


The aim of the study was to differentiate bipolar II, bipolar I and recurrent unipolar depression by their familial load for affective disorders. Eighty bipolar, 108 unipolar, 80 control subjects and interviewed first-degree relatives were diagnosed according to Research Diagnostic Criteria using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia--lifetime version. The morbid risks for bipolar I disorder were equivalent in relatives of bipolar I (3.6%) and bipolar II (3.5%) subjects and lower in relatives of unipolar subjects (1.0%). The morbid risks of relatives for bipolar II disorder distinguished bipolar II subjects (6.1%) from bipolar I subjects (1.8%), from unipolar depressives (0.3%) and from controls (0.5%). To promote further evaluation, bipolar II disorder should be included in DSM-IV as a distinct diagnostic category.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bipolar Disorder / classification
  • Bipolar Disorder / diagnosis
  • Bipolar Disorder / genetics*
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / classification
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / genetics*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Factors