Childhood factors associated with increased risk for mood episode recurrences in bipolar disorder—A systematic review
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd Background: Bipolar Disorder (BD) is a recurrent illness associated with high morbidity and mortality. The frequency of mood episode recurrence in BD is highly heterogeneous and significantly impacts the person's psychosocial functioning and well-being. Understanding the factors associated with mood recurrences could inform the prognosis and treatment. The objective of this review is to summarize the literature on factors, present during childhood, that influence recurrence. Methodology: A systematic review of PubMed (1946-2017) and PsycINFO (1884-2017) databases was conducted to identify candidate studies. Search terms included bipolar disorder, episodes, predictors, recurrences, and course. Study characteristics, risk for bias, and factors associated with recurrence were coded by two raters according to predetermined criteria. Results: Twenty child studies and 28 adult studies that retrospectively evaluated childhood variables associated with mood recurrences were included. Early age of onset, low socioeconomic status, comorbid disorders, inter-episode subsyndromal mood symptoms, BD-I/II subtypes, presence of stressors, and family history of BD were associated with higher number of recurrences. Limitations: Risk factors and mood recurrences were assessed and defined in different ways, limiting generalizability. Conclusion: Multiple factors are associated with increased risk of mood episode recurrence in BD. Interventions targeting modifiable factors could reduce the impact of BD. For example, treatment of comorbid disorders and subsyndromal mood symptoms, coupled with appropriate cognitive behavioral and family-focused therapies could ameliorate risk related to many clinical factors. When coupled with social services to address environmental factors, the number of episodes could be reduced and the course of BD significantly improved.
School of Medicine